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Narrow Roads

NARROW ROADS…are what everyone drove on in the early days of this country. At least in rural Tennessee. They were primarily created for the horse and buggy. Most were unpaved. No need for two lanes since you weren’t going very fast. As the automobile came along, the roads had to be widened to two lanes, some four, with laws created to govern traffic. With the industrialization of America, the interstate system was developed in the mid 20th century. And as population has exploded in many major metropolitan areas, the toll roads and interstates have had to be widened even further.
A number of years ago, we were staying with a couple in South Carolina at a Lay Renewal. Our host’s wife shared a hilarious story. Her aunt’s A-model would not start. So they tied hers to the uncle’s with a rope to pull her to town. And as they were headed down this narrow road she evidently put it in gear and suddenly her car started and the aunt sped up and passed him, waving and smiling. Probably doing 20 mph at most. He started shouting for her to slow down. But she just kept going and in the process the rope became taut and she jerked his car around so he was now going backwards. They survived to tell the story. Maybe you had to be there, but that is just how things happened ‘way back then’.
As I was reflecting on roads, highways, paths and lanes, my mind was drawn to our lives. Proceeding through life, growing in age and experiences, many opportunities come our way. Some like exploring vast regions while the rest of us are satisfied with less adventurous lifestyles. There is a big world out there and we are constantly being beckoned to experience it. Back in the horse and buggy days, before advanced transportation, for most of us, our world was mostly close to home. My maternal grandmother lived 101 years (1899-2001). During the Great Depression she moved with my granddad and her children from North Carolina to Tennessee. They traveled by train. She never had a driver’s license and never flew in a plane. That was a ‘narrow lifestyle’.
Applying this to your overall life, Scripture tells us that there are two alternatives you can choose. Just like roads, they all lead somewhere. As that great sage Yogi Berra was quoted as saying; ‘when you come to a fork in the road, take it.’ Hmmm! I have experienced in my own life the attractiveness of the world’s allure. That would be the broad way. It is truly vast, in every sense of the word. The other is narrow, and for countless people, it is just not enough, not very attractive, so limiting.
Remember when Jesus spoke to the rich young fool about this? He decided to tear down his barns and build greater ones, saying; “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink and be merry. But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'”
We in America have been so blessed by the common grace of God, even those who have chosen to follow the world’s attractions. There are so many things that compete for your attention. Many are really good, but are they the best for you or your family? God knows what is best for us. “Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” (Deut. 5:32)
When I travel on the toll road, I try where possible to get in one lane and stay there, whereas countless drivers are constantly changing lanes, frequently not using their turn signals. I have observed that over the course of 10 miles or so many are not much farther ahead of me. In fact, some make a bad choice and get trapped in a slow lane and fall behind. The risks to themselves and others are alarming. Maybe the NTTA should post this verse rather than their texting warnings. Just saying.

Which leads to you and me and what road we are traveling in our spiritual life. Jesus said that he is “the way, the truth, the life; and that no one comes to his Father except through him” (Jn. 14:6). This verse narrows the road to salvation to one lane. Jesus goes on to say that we are to all “enter by the.. narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way to destruction…”(Mt. 7:13a)

We all know many who ‘profess’ Christianity but based on the fruit in their lives, they do not ‘possess’ Christ. Seems like they are always switching lanes. And we see the devastation from that way of life. Jesus is the only way to salvation, and he is also the only way to the fruitful and abundant life here in this earthly pilgrimage. John 10.10b is his assurance. “I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” 


It begs the question. What lane are you in?
Copyright 2017
Bill C. Dotson
Scripture taken from the NIV and NKJV

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