by Robert Frost (from The Road Not Taken)
The big news on campus this week is the formation of new crosswalks in the parking lot. When we began using classroom space across the way, we quickly realized that we had unwittingly created some chaos for our parents and other drivers by allowing large swaths of kids to cross at the closest distance between the two points. While I don’t know of any close calls, it did disturb me that moving vehicles and moving humans had the potential to come into contact with one another out there. So, we decided to add designated paths.
The reasons for this decision are simple and obvious…
- The physical safety of children is of utmost importance. Why? Because we love them enough to care about their well-being. When walkers use the designated crossing areas, drivers know better where to look for potential people.
- The potential dents and scratches on cars caused by adolescent foot traffic is something we wish to avoid. Why? Because we want kids to learn to respect the property of others.
- Order is always preferred over chaos. Why? Because it results in efficiency, meaning you can get more accomplished.
In Matthew 7:13-14, Scripture tells us to “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
|The new path|
The core reason that we added crosswalks to the parking lot is that we love the kids here at HCA, and we want what is best for them. Put simply, we do not want them to get hurt. Similarly, the reason that God asks us to stay on the narrow path is His great love for each of us. Just as we didn’t add crosswalks to punish the children, God does not place boundaries on our lives out of anger or hatred. He wants what is best for us. The life of a Christian essentially boils down to two questions:
- Is God really good?
- Is God’s Word really true?
You see, if God is really good, AND if His Word is really true, then simple logic tells me that I would be a fool not to follow Him. God can alter any and all portions of our lives. This may frighten us at times, but if His Word is true AND if He is good, then I should welcome any interaction with God that I can get. Why wouldn’t I want a perfectly good and true being with unlimited power on my side?
Interestingly, if you look out the front window of the school, you will see students (and parents) who choose to walk outside of the boundaries of the crosswalk. They know that it is a little more risky to do so, but think that the convenience of a shorter path is worth it. People love convenience. We love the things that make our lives easier. If I can get by with ease, why would I choose work? Unfortunately, scripture does not promise us that following this narrow path will be easy. Most of the time, it is contrary to the desires of our flesh.
Sometimes, life can be inconvenient, or just downright hard. But the narrow path still leads to “life”, while the alternative leads to “destruction”. Of course, these verses do not say that you can see the end of the path, they just promise that the reward of life awaits those who choose the narrow way. This is why it is so important to believe that God is good and true. I don’t know about you, but I will choose life over destruction any day, if I know for certain that those are my only choices.
Really, this all leads us to the primary reasons HCA exists in the first place. In a world full of gray areas, we still believe in absolute truth, and we believe that one of those absolutes is that God is good. As my children grow up, isn’t it most important that they would know the truth? I mean, we don’t want them to confuse truth and lies, do we? We all know where that would lead. As Jesus said, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” Or as Jim Elliott said in 1949, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
|Jim Elliott’s Actual Journal Entry|
We all want to go to heaven, but we need to understand that there is a path to take there. It doesn’t just fall in our lap. A loving God, who never fails to tell the truth has given us this narrow path to walk. It will often be unpopular. It will often be painful. But the prize of life at the end is worth the effort. After all Jesus is the reward.
Every day, I am so tempted to divert from the narrow way. Every day, my flesh makes me wonder if it is all worth it. Every day it seems a little more uphill. But, also every day, I understand more and more that this path is not just a parking lot crosswalk that I can edge off without consequence. This is a tightrope that rewards the brave and determined, but comes at great risk for the wobbly. I am so glad that God provides the stability we need to cross, and loves us with His everlasting love each step of the way.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; No one comes to the Father, but through Me.” – John 14:6