the narrow road

Somehow my recent experiences brought to mind these words of Jesus, and they've been running through my head for the past few days:

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Mt 7.14-15)

Usually when this passage is read, the focus is on the gate, finding the gate. But I've been drawn to the imagery of the road. The wide road that leads to destruction and the narrow road that leads to life. Because even if we find the gate, there's still a long road ahead of us.

Through my experiences of the last six years, I've learned how well God provides and how generous life in the kingdom of God can be, just as Jesus described. "My yoke is easy, my burden light." But more and more I'm being made aware of the narrowness of the road following Jesus.

Narrow is not the same as difficult, or burdensome. It doesn't mean we have to hack our own way through the forest. But it does mean that we will have to pay attention and that the path through might be only just wide enough for us to pass. Because of God's power and generosity, I think I've been expecting a highway, with obvious road signs. Instead, it's been like a trail through the woods, where you have to be always watching for the path, for turns, for subtle markers to point the way. But I guess this is closer to what Jesus told us it would be like.

And I think I have to get used to it looking like there might not be a way ahead. Where the opening is small, the path narrow, it's not easy to see the way through from a distance. Only as we get close can we see that we just might make it. All the way up to the narrow pass we have to trust: God promised there would be a way.