“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” ~ Matthew 7:13-14
The other day I found myself with extra time. I had done a few errands in the most inefficient manner possible, yet still had time that wasn’t accounted for, with nothing requiring me to rush home. So I didn’t rush home at all, instead I gave myself time to meander home, taking the time to drive through some beautiful neighborhoods and enjoy the gorgeous fall day.
It was an incredibly relaxing thing for me to do and I’m glad that I took the time to do it.
We all have lots on our plates, with lives stuffed to the brim of chores, tasks, work, play, and all sorts of other things. Some of this busyness is good, some of it is not. We rush ourselves into exhaustion, hurtling down the road of life without really looking to see where we’re going.
As today’s verse in Matthew reminds us, the gate to destruction is wide and easy to find. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to find things that are bad for you – in fact, too often it seems they find you. But to do the right thing, to pursue Christ, is much more difficult, and it takes some effort and discipline to do so.
Too many people are in a hurry to get somewhere; not paying attention that where they are going is ultimately leading to their own destruction. The day I took the long way home, I noticed that I paid more attention to my surroundings, because I couldn’t just drive on mental auto-pilot to my house, since the path was unfamiliar. To find the narrow gate, we must be equally alert, as we’ll never find it just going through the motions of life. We must take the time and pay attention, and notice, as Robert Frost did in the poem that follows, that the road we need to take isn’t always as well travelled.
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost