Monday, September 6, 2010

I Have Chosen The Path Less Traveled, And It Has Made All The Difference

I believe almost everyone has had the experience of having to try to find a destination or location for the first time. I am notorious for getting lost the first time I try to find a place I have never been to before. Perhaps that is the reason it becomes etched in my memory because, after the first time, I never forget. What is unfortunate is that many of us do not pay close enough attention to the instructions we have been given. We confuse a landmark, we take a right instead of a left, or, worse yet, we take a short cut. Fortunately there is often more than one route to any destination and we eventually find our way, with help of course.

What we need to realize is that not all journeys and not all destinations have more than one route. One of the arguments in this new order of tolerance is that there is more than one way in our spiritual journey. Many are advocating that there is merit in every religion and each belief system. We are encouraged, for the sake of tolerance, not to make one route more important than another. However, followers of Jesus cannot fall for this lie if we are living by what Jesus taught:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

The Christian walk is not a difficult thing to understand even though it leads us through difficult decisions we have to make. We are still human and we are still attracted by many people and many things in this world. Sometimes we have to let go of these people and things because they have chosen the broader path which leads to death. Although we have the freedom to choose to do whatever we want to do, we know that to follow Jesus also means to walk in his righteousness. It means we have to choose to limit our choices, we need to make right decisions and to be corrected when we fail to do so. We need to accept that there are limits in our living so that we are able to remain on that narrow road.

Jesus taught that only a few sojourners find the narrow road that leads to life. It is not difficult to find but it is difficult to follow if you are not totally convinced of the creator of that road. If you are not able to declare, "There is no god like Jehovah!" you will not be able to see the truth of the merits of this narrow route. There are so many brilliant choices in this world. Most allow you to do what you want. Others are roads of righteousness as well, but based on lies and fear. There is only one path based on love and sacrifice; based on grace and not merit, that leads to a gate made from suffering and death; a gate that bids all those who are tired and heavy burdened to come to it for rest; a gate that bids us come to the Father. Remember that Jesus taught us that he is the only way to the Father; there is no other way.

Perhaps it is narrow minded but there is no other way, no other path, no other system, no other relationship that takes us to the Father. It is a path that demands the highest love from its sojourners. It requires those that walk upon it to shine the light they have discovered, to love everyone they encounter, to give and sacrifice for others, to look beyond their own needs to the needs of others. It requires truth and not lies. It wants us to be real and not plastic. This path wants those on other paths to see what happens to those who walk its narrow way, as we are transformed from enemies of God to his friends and children. This transformation only happens along this narrow path because there is no other route that can so thoroughly change our hearts.

Take a good look around. Are you swimming with or against the current? So many people refuse to think for themselves and simply get carried by the strongest current of thinking. If it is tolerance then let it be tolerance. If it is self-meditation then let it be so. If it is making a future for yourself by working hard and investing your money then fine and dandy. If its live hard and party harder because this is all we have, make it a good one, then that is what we will do. The broad road has to be broad because there are so many feet that walk on it. The narrow way is so often missed because of the dust and noise caused by the multitudes of people heading to their destruction.

So go ahead, call me narrow-minded, but it doesn't make me wrong. My desire is to be like Jesus, to walk his path, in his foot steps. I want to learn to love and give as he did. I want my life to make a difference in people's lives only because they see Jesus in me. I want to sing, dance and declare his praises as we walk this path. I want those on the broader path to hear all the joyful noise I make, to see the good deeds he has me do according to his love, to hear my laughter, to see my determination of joy in the face of the storms, to see my heart rise up even when it is broken, to see the light in me even as it shines in the darkness. I want them to see and to know that I have purposefully chosen this narrower way because it leads to the greatest treasure in heaven and earth. I have no regrets, no fears, no worries and no doubts because I have discovered beyond any shadow of doubt that there is no god like Jehovah!

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