Yogi Berra — no, not Yogi Bear — who played for most of his career with the New York Yankees, is considered to be one of the greatest catchers of all time. But he is equally famous for his malapropisms — exchanging a word for a similar sounding word — and for his facturing of the English language.
Here are some examples of Yogi Berra-isms: “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore”, “Always go to other people’s funerals, to otherwise they won’t come to yours”, “Even Napoleon had his Watergate”, “He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious”, “I never said most of the things I’ve said”, “I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopaedia. Let them walk to school like I did”, “If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be”, “If you ask me anything I don’t know I’m not going to answer”, “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility”, It ain’t over until it’s over”, “It gets late early out there”, “It’s like deja-vu all over again” and finally, my favourite Yogi Berra-ism, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
I don’t know whether it is me and my warped sense of humour, but a lot of these Yogi Berra-isms seem to make sense. In a weird sort of way of course.
For example, “It’s like deja-vu all over again”. Kind of like a double deja-vu, or maybe deja-vu-vu, or vu-vu for short.
If you think about it, many things in life will often be repeated, sometimes more than once; so wouldn’t that be deja-vu all over again?
Yogi Berra is an individual who stands out in the crowd, and what makes him do so is his unique way of expressing himself. After all, with some of the things that he said, who couldn’t help but notice?
Robert Frost, an American poet, wrote a poem entitled The Road Not Taken. In this poem he describes a walk in the woods. He comes to a fork in the road, and has to make a decision as to which one he will take. This is what he writes: Two roads diverged in a wood and I –/I took the one less travelled by,/And that has made all the difference.
I think that these lines express the same sentiment as Berra’s taking a fork in the road, albeit a little more eloquently. It may be easier to follow the well-worn path, but who knows where the road less travelled will take you? Following the crowd may be a lot more comfortable because you won’t stand out, and will blend in, but are we not called to make a difference in our society?
Jesus told us that we are “the light of the world”, and that a city on a hill cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14). This tells us that we are to model the Lord in the way we live, not hiding our faith, but letting it shine forth through us. It may take us on the road less travelled, but it will indeed make a difference in how we live.
So my suggestion to you is, the next time you come to a fork in the road, take it!