See it again - Prayer for OKC from the 7th GenerationWATCH VIDEO
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. – Matthew 7:13-14
My route to church on Sundays takes me through a winding highway construction zone with narrow lanes, no shoulders, concrete barriers on each side, and a reduced speed limit. I can sense my wife gripping the door handle and holding her breath until we get through it.
Like her, I prefer the wide highways with multiple lanes and a shoulder on both sides. It feels safer, I can go faster, pass slower drivers, maneuver to avoid road hazards, and engage my cruise control. I feel more relaxed because I don’t feel hemmed in.
Wait. Why would a wide, “safe” road be bad for us?
Well, let’s consider this for a moment. Looking at my own driving habits, I tend to entertain more distractions when I feel a sense of safety and margin. Queuing up a new podcast, talking on the phone, driving with only one hand on the wheel … I might have to admit that I’m generally less attentive or prepared for a sudden situation when I’m on cruise control.
Following Christ is all about staying close to Him. He calls us not only into relationship, but also proximity, attention and responsiveness. In other words, stay close, pay attention, and be ready. That’s the road that leads to life. Spiritually speaking, cruise control and distracted driving are dangerous.
Now here’s where my highway metaphor starts to fall apart. Because you see, this narrow road isn’t one that should surprise us, and it's not forced upon us either. It’s one we must choose – over and over. In the original Greek, the phrase “find it” in verse 14 means to come upon after searching, … to find out by practice and experience. There’s an intentionality that’s implied. An expectation of discovery. A readiness to acquire. A persistence.
So I ask myself, "Does that describe my relationship with God right now? Does He have my full attention? Does my desire to be near Him outweigh my desire to be comfortable?"
These are questions I plan to explore with God this Saturday morning on our half-day men's prayer retreat. If you're in the Oklahoma City area, I invite you to join me there.
Think and pray
Cruise control Christianity isn’t the way of Christ. He wants us both hands on the wheel, aware of our environment, and prepared for action. It’s hard to be where He wants us when we’re not looking or listening for Him.
Father, help me to prioritize my time with You and be attentive, intentional, and prepared for whatever obstacle or opportunity this day might hold. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Brent Vawter serves as the Senior Area Director for CBMC in Oklahoma City. His life was forever impacted by a man who met with him every week to help him grow in his relationship with Christ and discern God’s purpose for his life. This is now Brent’s passion as well – helping others find the community and discipleship they need to grow personally, professionally, and spiritually. You can reach him at cbmcok.com.