Narrow



Matthew 7:13-14
13Enter 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.
14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

One of the most beautiful places on the planet is the Rocky Mountain National Forest in Colorado. I have been there too many times to count in my life and it never gets old. Heading west out of Estes Park you can find access to Old Fall River Road. This is a one lane, one way, gravel road that leads up to the continental divide where this old road intersects with Trail Ridge Road (which is paved and lovely). I was very sad to learn that last year Old Fall River Road was largely destroyed by floods. It has been closed for all of 2014 in order to assess the damage and see what can be repaired. It was carved out of the mountains beginning in 1912 and opened in 1920. The work was largely done by convicts work gangs. I have included pictures just because it was so great to look at this this morning and be reminded of the majesty of God’s creation.

The Yellow/Orange line is Old Fall River Road

The Road being carved from the mountain in 1915ish
When Old Fall River Road Opened in 1920
The Road is narrow and dangerous as recently as last year

The reason you are looking at these pictures today is because Jesus compares the pathway into the Kingdom of God to that of a narrow, difficult road. As He pulls His Sermon on the Mount to a close, He alerts His disciples to the fact that following Him will never be easy. This is tough to hear because we rather like “easy.” We heed Jesus’ call into God’s Kingdom because He draws us in through repentance and faith in His redemptive work on the cross. Just as the Old Fall River Road is narrow and only goes one way, so the path of discipleship is narrow and there is only One Way to go – through Jesus Christ. The Old Fall River feels (and is) scary because there are no guard rails or fences. Leaving the road can only go one way – down, and that extremely rapidly. When we leave the narrow path of faith in Christ, the result is the same – down, and sometimes extremely rapidly.

Passage on the road of faith is not impossible. Just as it is very possible to arrive safely at the top of Trail Ridge via Old Fall River Road, so it is possible to traverse the path of this life with Jesus because He enables that journey through the power of His Spirit. You are never alone and there is nothing that need be done on your own. It was He who called you to this path and it is He who keeps you on it. And, it is a fantastic journey. There are vistas and valleys, unexpected joys and sorrows, and the journey itself is a great experience. But- when you arrive at the top – oh the joy you feel. The views are indescribable and well worth the trip. Arrival at the gate of heaven is ours through the blood of Jesus and we can only assume that it will be beyond description. (The Apostle John tries in the Revelation, but even those visions are rather difficult to wrap our head around most of the time.) The road is narrow, but the trip is worth it!

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