There’s an old saying: “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” The walk of Christian faith is not a leisure stroll through serene territory. Often, it is a challenging trek through some of the most rugged self-imposed terrain imaginable. I say self-imposed, because Jesus often guides us through the carnage of our own mistakes in order to bring us to a point of revelation; a point where we see the wreckage and choose never to return to it. For many people, the cost of walking with the Lord is just too great a price. They simply give in to the temptations of the world and assimilate.
Jesus made a clear point, to would be followers, to consider the cost of following him. In Matthew 7:13-14 he said this:
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
He also gave many illustrations on the importance of seriously considering what it would mean to be a follower. In Luke 14:28 he said this:
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”
It’s easy to go with the flow and travel the beaten path. The trouble is the beaten path may literally lead you to a dead end. As a husband and father, I have to be extremely careful of what decisions I make on behalf of my family. Do I go with the same choices everyone else is making, because that’s just what everyone does, or do I take the path Jesus points me toward? His ways are not always clear cut, but they never lead me astray. Sometimes, even my family questions the decisions I make, until they see the end result. That’s faith: listening to the Lord’s instruction and walking in the direction he leads. It may not be easy; it certainly isn’t popular; be his ways are true. As a follower, my answer to his call should always be “yes” and “amen”. But, they’re not always. I have to make a choice between my own desires and his instruction.
The road is narrow and the road is hard, that leads toward the kingdom of God. I’ve made many mistakes along my journey thus far, and tend to still trip over some of the debris of my past. That’s the price I pay for selfish ambitions of a past life. But, God walks me through, toward a brighter future for my family. It’s a future I can’t yet see. I trust him, though. Because of that trust, I keep right on walking. The hard road may be tough to navigate, but its destination is better than the alternative of the wide easy pathway.