“Go in through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to destruction is broad and the road wide, so many people enter through it. But the gate that leads to life is narrow and the road difficult, so few people find it” (Matthew 7:13-14, Common English Bible).
Given a choice, I will almost always take the path or least resistance. I don’t want things to be more difficult than they have to be. If one bike trail is straight up a hill and the other goes around the hill but is a rougher road, I might agonize over which path to take because neither looks easy. Yeah right! Who am I kidding. If you know me you know I am not likely to be on a bike path at all. The far more likely course of action would be to get in the car and drive!
If I have to clean up the kitchen after dinner, I am more likely to use the dishwasher than I am to wash the dishes in the sink by hand. I am not going down to the creek to wash my clothes on a rock, nor am I going to use a washtub and scrub-board. The washing machine does the job very well and it is a lot easier. For that matter I am not going to hang up my clothes on a clothes line either. I don’t even have a clothes line. Further, I don’t even wash my dress shirts. I send them to the cleaners to have them washed and pressed. I hate ironing and this is absolutely the easy way out.
I also know I am not alone. Just about anyone I know, and just about anyone in American society is going to do what I do when it comes to many of the rather mundane tasks of life. Most of us want to take the easiest path.
That doesn’t mean it is true for everyone. My oldest son went into the military after graduating high school. He definitely didn’t take the easy road. Instead he choose the Marine Corp because he “wanted the challenge.” But, he also didn’t take things as far as he might have. He didn’t try to go into special forces either.
Sometimes, however, the easy road is not the best road. Sometimes we need to go the more difficult way because we will be better for it in the long run. I can get away with the easy route when it comes to having my dress shirts washed and ironed. That being said, the easy road is not the best course of action to take when it comes to matters of faith.
Just as Wayne sought the challenge when he entered the Marine Corp, we need the challenge of the difficult path because the road less traveled, the harder way means a better opportunity for faithfulness. It is the road that leads to life.
Too many people believe that once they come to faith life is going to get easier. It just doesn’t work that way. No where in the Bible does it say that living out the Christian faith is something easy. Quite the opposite is true. Our lesson today, two short verses, should open our eyes. Living the faith is not the simple thing to do. It is not the easy thing to do. We will be challenged and it will happen all the time.
I think at this moment in history, it is more difficult to live out the faith than it was earlier in my life. Many people in our society resent the faith. They test our faith. They push to see how far we will go. Scripture is clear. We can’t compromise. We can’t take the path of least resistance. That path leads to destruction. Going the hard way leads to life.
I can get away with taking the easy way when it comes to getting from point “A” to point “B.” I can get away with the simple solution when it comes to having clean shirts. But to live in the Kingdom of God, the hard road is the way to go. No one ever said their wouldn’t be obstacles along the trail. Thankfully, we don’t travel this road alone. We are blessed along the way to share the path with one another and we are also joined by an omnipotent and loving God who will see us down the train.
What obstacles do you face as you walk the difficult path of faith?
Have a blessed day in the Lord and share that blessing with someone along the way.
Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved