Saturday, May 2, 2009

Spiderwebs Along The Narrow Path

Jesus says in his teachings in Matthew 7:13-14,

"Enter by the 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 hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

This past week, a friend of mine introduced me to a hiking trail that we have in our community that I had no idea was there. I love to be out in the woods, and I especially love hiking. There is just something peaceful about being in creation in it's original context that makes you feel alive and somewhat closer to the Creator.

On Wednesday morning after my men's accountability group, I decided to take my quiet time outdoors. So I packed up my ESV Journaling Bible into my CamelPak, and set out on the trail. I soon realized that I was the first and only person to take this trail on this day. How, you my ask. Well, when you are 6'1" and you are the first hiker out on a specific trail, you realize quickly that you are either the first person to take the trail today, or the tallest. The reason is very simple: You get caught up in all the spiderwebs. This trail is already very narrow and windy, but when you add the element of annoying spiderwebs, it makes the seemingly easy trail a little more difficult.

In the same way, the narrow path, that is the one that follows the Way (Jesus), seems seemingly easy, until you set out on it. For those who think that following Jesus is easy, and who say that the Christian life is so much fun, I would say back, "I don't think your on the same path as me." Like being on that trail this week, it seemed easy until I started getting caught in all the spiderwebs and then realized this path is really narrow. Why? On a narrow path it is imposible to avoid the spiderwebs. In the same sense, on the path that leads to Jesus, it is a given there will be trials and situations that are unavoidable, but they are profitable for your maturity and sanctification process.

Yesterday was one of those days. There has been a person who has really been a thorn in my flesh since I began the journey that I am on. I pray daily for this person, I am always friendly with this person, I try and encourage this person, I attempt to go out of my way to show this person love, but in the end, this person always has a complaint and/or a criticism. It is difficult in these times, because you want it to be easy. You want the person to see your love for them and Christ's love for them, but they are not looking for that. They become the equivalent to an annoying spiderweb that one runs into on the perverbial narrow way. You can't avoid them. You can't retaliate. You can only press forward and continue the journey, and pray that God will transform them from a spiderweb into a sojourner with you on the way. That is my prayer.

If you want any easy life. If you are looking for a "spider-web free" path, then the way of following after Jesus is not the path for you. This pathway is narrow, it is full of trials, struggles and suffering, but it is the path that leads to life everlasting. It is the path that leads to satisfaction. It is not the way for the faint of heart, but is the way for those who are willing to die to self and persevere.

No comments: