What exactly does it mean to take the higher road?I think by definition it means there is a lower road and that a choice has been made to take the higher road. Sometimes one has to travel that lower road in order to acknowledge it is lower and to seek the higher.
I think it also means taking higher ground. Safer ground. Avoiding the drowning floods and storms that can knock you off your foundation. Sometimes it's a matter of safety and escaping danger. Your own personal danger. Fleeing the floodwaters. OR taking that step into the Red Sea and watching the waters part to save you from that which is encroaching from behind. Deliverance.
Sometimes I think it's a matter of removing yourself from the situation. Even if that means being alone. It's forging ahead. It's pressing forward. And not turning back. I love the James Taylor song:
Walk down that lonesome road, all by yourself.
Don't turn your head back over your shoulder.
And only stop to rest yourself when a silver moon
Is shining high above you.
I think the high road is also found in our interaction with others. I love what Marvin J. Ashton said:
Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.
I think taking the higher road means stretching outside of oneself, of recognizing a higher power, of drawing upon the grace that is so readily available. Sometimes it means keeping your mouth shut. Sometimes it means opening your heart and listening. Sometimes it means apologizing. Sometimes it means putting off the lower road feelings of hurt, anger, disappointment, malice, and getting yourself on the high road, putting on mercy, humility, forebearing (one of my new favorite words), and, most importantly, charity--that mantle of perfectness. Completeness. Wholeness.
I must sequester myself. I've GOT to write my prospectus and take care of some stuff. If you can't find me, I'll be on the high road.