13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14, NIV)
Black Friday is just around the corner. Can you picture the lines waiting to get into a store? At opening, stores throw their doors wide open and people surge in, each wanting to be first and make sure they can grab the latest and greatest item. Everyone heads for the largest opening, the largest door. More people can get in at once, more people can push through, it is just easier. Very few will head for the narrow, single-person door. One at a time, single file. It takes longer, is slower, and is harder to manage. Two doors stand before you in life. A narrow and wide one. Which one are you headed for?
The wide door has a well-paved path before it. The crowd goes this way. It is an easy journey. You can do as you like, as you please. You are only accountable to yourself, or so you think. This crowd moves quickly on this path, but everyone is only concerned about themselves. This path requires little thought and action, just keep moving, doing what you want. Everyone gets through, but do you know what lies beyond?
The narrow door has a rough and rocky road before it. Few take this path so it is not worn down and smooth. You must watch your step, choose carefully each action. Some portions are more difficult than others, but those around you are willing to help you when you need it. The journey is not easy, but you know the reward that lies beyond is worth the struggle.
Ancient walled cities had many different doors, wide and narrow. During times of peace, they would throw open their gates wide. Everyone could come and go as they pleased. During times of war, the gates were narrow. Passage through the gate was strictly monitored to ensure only authorized people could gain entry into the city.
Each person is a city. We can choose to throw our gates open wide, let the teachings of the world enter our lives, our thoughts, and influence our actions. We can choose to narrow our gates, and carefully curate the content that we allow to enter our lives, our thoughts, and influence our actions.
Narrow or wide? Wide or narrow? Beyond one door lays the splendor of heaven. Beyond the other door lays torment in the form of eternal separation from the Lord God. On which path are you? Following Jesus Christ is a choice. It becomes a way of life. A way of life that differs from the secular world. The path is not always easy – Jesus never said it would be. But it is a path worth taking!