Thursday, May 24, 2012

narrow gate, difficult road

"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14

I think Cambodia has taught me a lot about narrow gates and difficult roads. Maneuvering through tight spaces and navigating hazardous streets are mandatory for driving in Cambodia. I have developed a keen sense of spatial reasoning that I never before would have claimed. Daily I ask myself questions like this, "Can you fit through that tiny space between the trash truck and moto carrying the live chickens?" What is the reward for doing so? Well, partially the ability to breathe without gagging and partially because there is a certain satisfaction of weaving to the front of the line of traffic waiting for a green light. It is the joy of finding the opening, deeming that it is indeed possible to fit through, and seizing it before someone else robs you of the opportunity.

I think following Jesus is sometimes like that. There is a joy in finding the openings, realizing that beyond all rationality you can actually fit, and jumping in with both feet.

That is not to say that you may not get bumped in the process. Or, that you may not have to do some skillful bobbing and weaving. The road is difficult. Unpredictable things happen. Sometimes the sky opens up and pours on you without warning. People try to cut you off, and they often succeed. Sometimes you have to slam on the brakes. Other times you have to gun it. I think we are often surprised when we learn about the gate and actually realize that the road to get there is not as nicely paved as we would like. We are frustrated when the lane lines are missing...if the road is even wide enough for lanes. We are annoyed by the herd of cattle leisurely crossing the road in front of us. And, I think we forget that this life is about the journey, the journey we were already warned was difficult.

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