Wider May Be Easier, But...

​As I was driving my children to school this morning, I noticed all the road construction going on. We live in an area of massive growth. Thousands are expected to move to this area within the next few years. In order to keep up with the growth, highways are being widened to accommodate the increase in traffic. Wider roads tend to make happier people…less traffic, less gridlock and easier commutes. It is a short-term fix. In areas of rapid growth, adding one lane does not make much long-term difference. Inevitably as growth continues, the roads will need to be widened again and again.
It made me think of this passage of Scripture, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV).
 
Earlier this summer, I had to get my oldest son from point A to point B. I did not quite know where I was going so I “Google mapped” it. As I typed in the coordinates, it gave me two options. One option was on a two-lane country highway and the second option was mostly interstate driving. As I looked at the map, the two-lane country road option looked like a much more direct route and according to the Google map, the estimated driving time to the destination was slightly shorter than the interstate option. We were running a little behind schedule as we headed out and started down the road.
 
I don’t drive on a lot of two-lane roads. Most of the roads near us are multiple lanes. The thought of passing slow vehicles with the possibility of an oncoming vehicle makes me slightly nervous. When you throw in the fact I was unfamiliar with the area, the road was curvy and hilly in places (we went through a beautiful national forest) and narrow in places, it made the drive slightly stressful. It was a beautiful drive, but it was not an easy one. Thankfully it was daylight out because I have horrible night vision.
 
We arrived at our destination and took care of what we needed to do. As we left the building we were in, dusk was setting in. For someone with night vision, this is not a good thing! I had to make a choice – would I go back the same way I came or would I take the easier, wider interstate route?
 
I chose the wider interstate route because I thought it might be easier and better lit. The wider road got us to our destination and actually took less time than the two-lane country road. I thought to myself why didn’t I take the interstate earlier? Both routes got me to my destination.
 
However, our eternal destination is a totally different ballgame.

Jesus was saying in Matthew 7:13-14 that there are two gates, two paths - a narrow one and a wide one. One gate leads to a wide path of destruction and one gate leads to a narrow path to life. One is easy. One the way is hard. We like easy and comfort especially over the long haul. Narrow and hard, while it may be okay for a short period of time, is not optimal for the majority of people. Jesus knew this to be an issue because He said only a few would find the narrow gate.
 
That statement keeps me up at night. It makes my stomach ache as I hear accounts of people dying. I always think were they on the narrow path entering into the narrow gate? However, we can’t wait until the moment of death to make this choice. This choice needs to be made before we get to the point of death. We can’t, nor can anyone pray on our behalf for us, make this choice after death.
 
If we truly believe that this place is not our forever home (Hebrews 13:14) and that we cannot get too comfortable in it (1 Peter 2:11-12), the thought of being on a narrow, difficult path for only a little while should be okay with us (our life is but a vapor – James 4:14). Road construction, while it is taking place, is torture for the commuter. However, once the road construction is completed, the path becomes easier. This too will happen for those who commit to Christ in this lifetime and choose the narrow path.
 
Rick Warren says, “Have you ever wondered what Heaven is going to be like? The Bible tells us that Heaven is going to be these four things:
 
  1. A place of reunion, where we are reunited with other loved ones who have accepted the grace of God.
  2. A place where we are rewarded for the character that we developed and the way we served other people here on Earth.
  3. A place where we are reassigned to do new work based on our SHAPE. We will be given new assignments that we love to do and that use the gifts God has given us.
  4. A place of release, where we’re free from all pain, suffering, sadness, sorrow, grief, depression, and loneliness.” 
In the days ahead, the world will make it easier and easier to get on and stay on the wide path. This path leads to total destruction. This destruction can sometimes be played out in this lifetime (as we have recently seen with the leak of the Ashley Madison database), but even if it is not, it will be played out eternally.
​I don’t know about you, but I have made the choice to enter into the narrow gate and get on the narrow path in this lifetime. I hope you have made this important decision too. If you have made this life-changing decision, I pray you are sharing this decision with others in your spheres of influence that are currently on the wide path. Right now, you (if you haven’t already) and they have the opportunity to repent and surrender to Christ. The word repent literally means to “turn around or turn (back) to God.” If you are breathing - if your friend, co-worker, loved one, family member is still breathing - you can turn around in an instant on the wide path and go to the narrow gate. He’s waiting and will open the gate for the repentant and humble in spirit no matter who you are or what you have done or not done. He came for us all and does not want one to perish (Luke 15:1-7).

"Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near" (Matthew 4:17 NLT).

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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