Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Where You Going?

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those that enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” Matthew 7: 13-14

Have you ever gone on a road trip? You know, picked a destination, packed your bags, filled-up the tank and just hit the open road? It’s pretty cool. But the most important thing to know is where you want to end up. Then the second most important thing is to make sure you are on the right road to get you to where you want to be. Right?

For instance, let’s say I want to go to San Francisco and so I pack my bags and get on Interstate 95 heading south and as I get on this highway around Baltimore, MD, I stick my head out the window and shout, “San Francisco, here I come!” And then I drive for three hours. Around three hours later I am driving near Richmond, VA and I stop at a rest area and as I am leaving a trucker asks me where I’m going. “San Francisco!” I reply with gusto. Then I get in my car and head back onto I-95 south and drive for three more hours. Now I am in North Carolina. What’s going to happen if I stay on I-95 south? I’m going to end up in Florida. It doesn’t matter how many times I say I am going to San Francisco, if I stay on I-95 south I will end up in Florida. If I am on I-95 south and want to go to San Francisco, the first thing I need to do is TURN WEST by getting on a different road! In the Christian life we call this conversion.

Jesus clearly tells us that in life there are two roads and that at any given time you and I are on one of them. One is wide and smooth and easy and many people are on it; and this is the road leading to hell. The other road is narrow and hard and few people are on it; this is the road to heaven. The question is: where do you want to be at the end of this journey we call life? The choices are either heaven or hell. That’s it. And if you want to go to heaven (and I think most people want to), then you better be on the right road to make it to your destination of choice. The reality is that we don’t just get to heaven because we want to. While that’s a good start, it is not the criteria. Jesus said if we want to get to heaven we need to go through Him. (see John 14: 6)

If we are travelling on the wide road when we die, we will go to hell, no matter how bad we say we want to go to heaven. In order to be on the narrow road we need to be following Jesus. While this is hard, it is possible because of the grace of God which Jesus merited for us on the cross. The Good News is that God has not left us to our own devices and abilities to reach heaven, but He sent His only Son, Jesus, to become one of us, to walk this earth, to show us the way and to die for our sins to open the door to heaven for all of us. All we have to do is cooperate with this grace and follow Him on the narrow road. And following Jesus means obeying Him and loving Him and our neighbor with passion and purity. It means laying down our lives for others as He laid down His life for us. It means casting off the ways of the world and picking up our cross to go where He leads. It means embracing unconditional love and an intimate relationship with the God of the universe. It means trusting Him. It means saying “no” to ourselves and “yes” to Him. It means a life of greatness for now and a life of eternal glory to come.

Let’s use Lent to examine our lives honestly and see what road we are on in life and where it is leading us. And if it is not leading us to where we want to be, then let’s pray for the grace to get on the right road and begin heading in the right direction.

Dear Jesus, I want to get to heaven. Help me to follow You on the narrow road and stay off the wide road. Give me all the grace I need to finish my journey and be with You forever in the end. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post, Scott. I know I'll be quoting these two lines of yours- "The reality is that we don’t just get to heaven because we want to" and "It means a life of greatness for now and a life of eternal glory to come".