SOMETIMES I think all I need to do is be good, and I’ll go to heaven. Or, I think, all I need to do is believe in God, go to church on Sunday, and I’ll reach heaven.
But it’s so much more nuanced than that, isn’t it? Real life is messy, complex, and even bloody sometimes.
Jesus said, the road that leads to life is narrow. The gate is small. Why does it have to be so difficult?
The world struggles so much even to define what’s ‘good’ these days. Something good for one person is an abomination for another. Even among the Christian churches there is great debate.
We point fingers and call each other the devil. Everybody claims to have God (or reason) on their side.
Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, said Jesus. So there it is, wide open in front of us. Pick a lane.
We have so many options these days. Many of us choose ways that are clearly wrong when driven by selfishness, greed, and control.
Meanwhile, some of us scratch our heads thinking, what could possibly attract the younger generation to want to live in a digital reality?
Maybe it’s because in the real world — where the ‘adults’ are in charge — all they see is resentment, conflict, and pain.
But in the end, even the metaverse just becomes another lifestyle choice among many.
Sooner or later though, our own biology breaks through. We get sick. We fall and break a hip. We age. No matter the path you choose, an end game eventually faces you.
Even in a hyper-realistic digital world, existential questions will surface when you least expect it.
And in this ever growing mess of choices, we flail around seeking truth. Do we have too much freedom? How do we handle it?
We are constantly confronted with the problem of how to live. We struggle to overcome real world problems.
And when someone shouts loud enough telling you they have all the answers, it’s tempting to join in.
An extreme voice offers the promise of truth and clarity in the chaos. Sharks in a feeding frenzy have clarity too — all they want is blood.
Some extreme views may mimic the narrow way that Jesus promised, but it might just be another lane on the highway to destruction.
For years, I walked upon the broad road. It was all vanity, consumption, and the never-ending search for the next great experience. But there was no depth. Nothing soulful.
Even the most sophisticated lifestyles may be full of dead lies.
The narrow road is certainly about choices and decisions. But Jesus told us that we must find it. So how do you find the way that leads to life?
You look for the signs. They are there if you look for them. The signs to life were written before the dawn of time.
The signs say, you are not an accident.
You are part of a divine plan, a grand design, and your life has purpose, here, now, today.
You are made in the image and likeness of God.
You have been created to love and be loved.
You can be good. You can be healthy and free. You can be faithful and strong. You can forgive. And you are forgiven.
And when you give life, you worship and imitate your Creator. You thrive when you bond with others.
Jesus is the firstborn among many sons and daughters of God that walk upon the narrow path.
He himself is the Way, the Truth, the Resurrection, and the Life.
And even if you drift outside the narrow way, you can always return. You will never be rejected. You will never be turned away.
Yes, this is an extreme, radical way to live. And yes, it is difficult, messy, complex, and even bloody sometimes.
But it is good. Extremely good.
So reach for heaven.
. . . . . . .
“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
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