The Narrow Way

16 May

The Narrow Way

There are two places in the Christian scriptures where “narrow” is written. Both times the word comes from the mouth of Jesus, and in both instances the context concerns entering something. In one place, it’s a “narrow gate”, while in the other it’s a “narrow door”. And in both utterances, Jesus appears to be talking about how to get into the kingdom of God, or the fullness of life. “Narrow” was his description of the entry point; restricted and confined, not broad and easy.
Ever try to get through a really small space with a lot of stuff? Try getting between these two boulders with your backpack, your bed roll, your ice cooler, and your camping stove. It’s hard enough with a wide body, not to mention all the luggage.
Think of all the things we “carry” through our lives…the stuff we hang onto and think we can’t live without. Piled on, stuffed in, sit-on-the-suitcase-to-make-it-close stuff.
Some other words come to my mind when I think about the sacred teachings of my faith, words like “simplicity” or “accumulations”. And then “narrow” begins to make more sense in reference to that entry point to the real fullness of life. You can’t take it with you.
Things – unnecessary possessions, self serving ideals, accumulated trinkets and toys – won’t make it through the narrow door. It appears that the only way to pass through that narrow way is to strip down to bare essentials. And so I ask myself: what is it that I need to leave behind? It’s not an easy question…and there’s not an easy answer.
But the reality remains: the way is narrow.

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