The Narrow Path

Maththew 7:13 says “Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it”.gate-978612_1920.jpg

Reality checks come in all shapes and sizes.  Maybe it’s all the bible studies or the countless times my mom pumped bible verses in my head, but every time I stray and feel as though I’m getting swept up in the muck of the world Matthew 7:13 ricochets between my ears.

The challenge with this verse is this.  There are many fleeting pleasures in this world that seem appealing, but there’s that tiny voice that pipes up: the path is narrow, the path is narrow. And that’s when I remember why there are few that walk it.

gymnastics-583670_1280I used to do gymnastics, and while many gymnasts loved the dancing fluidity of floor, the power of the vault, or the ability to be a human monkey on the bars, I loved beam.

For those who are unfamiliar with the sport, you are given about 4″ to fit both your feet on.  As if that’s not a challenge enough, the length of the entire beam is 16ft and you’re expected to flip, twirl, and twist around it, all while suspending your body 5 feet from the ground.  Don’t let those blue mats fool you either, because the burn you get from falling on them takes a couple days to fade.

I can’t help but view the path of righteousness like that beam.  It’s narrow.  It’s intimidatingly high.  And it’s long. But for about 90 seconds your palms are sweating and your toenails cling to the suede in hopes that you don’t fall.  It’s a wonder, few choose this element.  It’s a wonder few choose the path of righteousness.

But after a long 90 seconds and a few heavy heartbeats later, there is nothing more gratifying than doing that ending spin, that last leap, that final flip to dismount off the beam and stick the landing as judges scribble your scores down.  And even though God is the only judge, I’d be lying if I didn’t say people are watching to see if you fall.

The path that the world offers as joy may seem okay, or even right, but I can almost assure you that there will come a day where Matthew 7:13 will echo between your ears; you’re hitting your head on the mat, and you didn’t realize it was happening, but your foot slipped out right from under you.balance-beam-726244_1920

The beauty of God is this.  He offers grace and redemption.  He knows the beam of life is narrow and nearly impossible.  “Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low.  The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.  And all people will see God’s salvation”Luke4-6.  And as always to those who always seek: “you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart”Jeremiah 29:13.  God finds us on the mat and brings us back to balance on the beam.

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