Archive for April, 2013

Narrow the Road

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14

The road leading to life is narrow and found by only a few. I suppose this could make Christianity sound like some goofy, exclusive club with unnecessary barriers to entry. A small gate could be considered hidden. I’ve also heard this explained that, compared to the wide gate and broad, destruction bound road in the previous verse, Christianity just isn’t as attractive or well advertised. I have this glimmer of memory of a picture of two gates. One was huge, glitzy, and definitely designed to get attention. The other was small and rather plain. It wasn’t drawing much of a crowd. One more idea (I think) I’ve heard associated with this verse is that only a few find life because, being narrow, the road is treacherously easy to lose. If it’s not actually lost, you might just fall off of it.

I suppose all of those interpretations have some validity, and I’ll bet there’s a bunch more out there I’ve not even considered. But… “narrow the road.”

“Narrow the road.”

Ever been near a stream on a hot, dusty day? Maybe there’s a little breeze stirring the pine needles and rustling the dried grasses. The stream is babbling happily away. A grasshopper startles and leaps, wings buzzing against the quiet. There’s not much going on. It’s a sleepy afternoon, a dreamy afternoon, a time to be lost in thought, to ponder. A smooth, round stone comes to hand. It’s perfect to roll over one’s fingers, to idly toss in time to a thought. Up and down the stone goes, its texture catching the sunlight, shadows deepening and shifting as it twists in the air, making a soft slapping noise as its caught. It has rhythm.

Breathing in.

“Narrow the road.”

Life slows to a contemplative crawl.

Breathe in. Another toss. “Hmm… ‘narrow the road.” It reminds me, in this deep and quiet place, of this:

“…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus.” Hebrews 12:1b-2a

Maybe the road being narrow has little to do with leaving people out, a lack of advertising, or a slippery slope. Maybe it’s got more to do with focus and dedication. What do you have room for in your life? What takes up space? What’s keeping your eyes busy? Can you fit that through a small gate and travel with it along a narrow road? I can’t. When my life is too busy, too full, all I hear is noise, and I need space for my life to spread out and let me breathe. I’m hindered. I’ve lost my focus. My eyes aren’t fixed on Jesus at that point, and if I’m moving, it’s probably like a ping pong ball. I’m bouncing between all the clutter in my life.

“Small is the gate…narrow the road” – not everything will fit. Sometimes I just need to let go of things and keep running.

If I Was A Blog Post

If I was a blog post, I would be about… huh… drawing a blank. I’m sure there’s a blog post lurking around here somewhere. Maybe I should check under the couch. Perhaps it dropped back behind the way the throw pillows do. Hm, guess not. Maybe I’m just unmotivated. I can’t really claim to have been horribly busy. There have been things to do, for sure, but it’s not been complete craziness.

I could lay some of the blame on spring fever. The weather has been, if not outright lovely, at least plenty nice enough to make outside quite attractive. Spring isn’t my favorite season – that place of honor is held by fall – but there are things about spring I just love, like the incredible range of green shades, the flowers, and how the land wakes up. Early spring is a stormy curmudgeon who has not yet had enough coffee and grumbles about the light.

But once in bloom? Spring makes me wonder if perhaps, after all, the earth is a morning person. It’s (mostly) warmer. The birds seem to share in the joy and are all a twitter-pated. There are wild turkeys out in the woods, and the toms are out there a-gobbling. They have a funny cry. I suppose it’d be scary in the dark if it was unfamiliar. The lambs are in their juvenile delinquent stage. They’re about half sized, still rounded with baby fat, and quite full of themselves. Kimberly has rediscovered her swing. She dons her bike helmet and carefully walks out to the swing. While she’s out there, the hills are alive with the sound of music. If she faces downhill and away from the tree, there’s a bit of an echo from the hills just across the valley. She loves to go out there and sing and sing and sing.

I love being out in all of this, of being a part of this world. It sweeps me away. One day last week, I went out just to transplant a few flowers from their unwanted, volunteer location to the new and highly desirable development near the chicken pen. As I was moving them, I realized that I could use the extra dirt in the beds I’d started for ferns. I just needed a few more rocks! While I was hauling more rocks, I found a hole, which explained how that one hen keeps getting out. I filled the hole and hauled more rocks and talked to Mom, who mentioned the mint waste, and one thing led to another and another… Next thing I knew, I’d been out there about three times as long as I’d planned, and it was well past lunch time!

Spring fever, I suppose. My mind’s outside wandering. I’m sure it will come back eventually. It might even bring a blog post back with it!