Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Narrow Path

As I was talking to a friend this morning, all bottled up with frustration from some other things that I silently refused to vocalize, the Lord used our topic to shed light on my unspoken frustrations. I suddenly had an image of cars lined up moving ever so slowly alongside an accident. The slow moving traffic was hosed up  as the drivers stretched their necks to see what was happening.

Immediately I began to see another image. This time it was of a car driving along a narrow road. The driver suddenly turned his focus to something else and veered off the road into the danger zone. I suddenly realized this is me. I was veering off the road meant for me by focusing on someone else's ways. Time to adjust my focus--again.

During that time, I heard the words "straight and narrow" and the word narrow began to stand out as though it were light up with flashing lights. Narrow in the moment meant a path that everyone else wasn't taking. It meant tight spots and long bouts where no human could be found, much less relate. It meant focusing on what lies ahead for me, and not on what others are doing. Matthew 7:14 was now more clear than ever.
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
To be honest, I had to look this verse up because I couldn't remember the exact words, or even the book in which it was found. As I began to look for it, I was lead to this one too.
Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. Matthew 7:4-5 ESV
These are all clear reminders of the danger we are in spiritually when we start watching others. When we shift our focus, we many times unintentionally adapt to their ways. I, for one, am most guilty of this. But the Bible clearly says that taking the straight and narrow path won't be easy, and that we'll endure many struggles from doing so. But for those of us who take it, the spiritual rewards are far greater than the price we pay in the flesh.

Although sometimes the truth is hard to take, this reminder is exactly what I needed in the moment. And as I think about it, the Lord is always so gentle, yet honest with me. I am so thankful for moments like this whereas no one else could've or would've spoken to me in such a firm, loving, obvious and honest way that leads me off the shoulder and back onto the road that I was meant to follow.

1 comment: