Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Narrow Path

I love the line from Robert Frost's Poem, "The Road Not Taken":

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

It reminds me of when Jesus said, "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."

I think sometimes we think that God's perfect plan for our lives is broad.  That we can dance around and across this great breadth of His will and still experience every good thing He has planned for us.  And yet this is not the example we see in scripture.  It is not what we see in the lives of countless fathers of faith, or even in the life of Jesus Himself.  There seemed to always be one true way; one true path, always waiting, always inviting the Believer to follow, and often alone.

 It is also not the experience of my life.  Many times, I have found myself at a convergence of paths, and there is, more commonly than not, a broad path and a narrow one.  Our nature wants to take the path of least resistance, and to follow the beaten trail.  Why does He beckon me down the narrow path, into the unknown?

Perhaps because it is an exercise in faith.  Perhaps it is simply evidence that the majority of mankind doesn't dare to ask.  Perhaps it is because we don't realize that the reward for following Him through that narrow, needle-like gate is an intimacy with Him that cannot be obtained any other way.

We were created for the unknown.  We were created to have our lives cast in reckless abandon at His feet.  To surrender our independent will to Him, and to live in constant communion with Him.  The broad path requires much less reliance upon Him.  It promises clearly conceivable results and the myth of control.  The narrow path, on the other hand, is a mystery, with the only solace being found in the eyes of the one who leads us.

Have you found yourself at a crossroads in your own life?  Do you hear the voices of your comrades urging you onto the well-beaten trail that they all have taken?  Listen harder.  Linger a moment.  Can you hear Him whisper?  He is there, just beyond the other gate.  Mystery.  Risk.  Adventure.  And the most trustworthy guide you will ever know.