Riding the Narrow Road
“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
As a multisport trail racer, I spend a fair amount of time out in the woods dodging (or launching over) roots, rocks, and the occasional startled mammal! I love being so close to God’s creation, and enjoy the fact that it often requires my complete attention if I want to avoid being hurled into parts of that creation unexpectedly – particularly on a mountain bike.
In this way, mountain biking is much like our Christian lives. The path we want to stay on is narrow and sometimes treacherous. Obstacles and dangers seemingly appear out of nowhere, and even the best end up tossed and bloodied from time to time. The trail is bumpy and the easy sections are often shorter than we wish they were. One skill a mountain biker learns early is that where you place your eyes determines much of your success.
First, you have to look where you want to go, not at the obstacles you wish to avoid. If you focus your attention on something, your shoulders tend to turn and you end up running into (or off of) the very thing you were hoping to avoid! So too in life, if you focus on troubles and obstacles rather than on Jesus, you may end up off the path. Peter certainly learned this lesson when he was walking on the Sea of Galilee. So long as he focused on Christ, he was fine. As soon as he looked at the tumultuous waves, his fears bested him and he started to sink.
Second, you have to look at the path ahead, not at the path immediately underneath you. By looking where you need to be, you are able to make small adjustments early, rather than trying to make big changes at the last second. In the same way, we need to live with the end in mind – God’s eternal redemptive plan. For his own particular reasons, God has chosen us to play a role in that plan. Am I sharing my faith? Am I serving the needy (and not just the financially needy)? We need to live with the end in mind, and continue to press on to complete the good work he has set before us.
- Where is your focus?
- What is one thing you could do to increase your focus on Christ today?
- What promises of God do you need help believing today?
Matthew 14:26-32, Matthew 6:33, 1 Peter 4:7-11