The Skinny Path
Matthew 7:13,14 Enter 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. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
I sat in the restaurant a couple nights ago with good intentions of the skinny path. I entered the door with plans to eat healthy. Then the familiar voices started. You’re on vacation, live a little. Look at all that amazing food. I quickly broke down. Fried macaroni and cheese? Yes, please…
I remember those same voices talking me into much worse behavior not that long ago. I do not mean to equate food with drugs, but the path I’ve taken to both, is strikingly similar. You only live once, enjoy it! You can exercise and live right tomorrow. Indulge now, pay later…
I think everyone who recovers from active addiction probably looks back at some point and asks, What in the literal hell was I thinking? How did I think that was a good idea? Once on the narrow road, it is easy to look over at those on the path to destruction with incredulity. Why would anyone want to remain on that path? Why do so many continuing on that road?
It is this way with anything worthwhile: exercise, recovery or faith. The harder the path is, the higher the price required to travel it and the fewer who will take it. I should not be discouraged when many do not follow. Jesus says this is the way it will always be. It is mine to follow him and I though I am to share my story with those on the path to destruction, their choice is not my burden to bear.
We are all discouraged when our friends and neighbors do not embrace that which we know to be the way, but I think it is a gift to be able to remember the thoughts that kept us on the same path once. It also requires continual honesty to see how we still choose destruction in some areas of life.
Complacency is my constant enemy on the narrow path. Thank God I’m not like those losers over there… I’ve got it figured out… It is so easy to buy into the thinking that, as I am following God, I really have nothing on which to work. It is of course, the exact opposite. As I grow closer to God, the path narrows and I become much more aware of how destructive my nature can truly be.
I may be living free from active addiction to drugs, but this does not mean I have arrived. As I have mentioned before, I happen to have more than just the one defect. Am I living free from drugs only to be a slave to my appetite for food, sex, money, or approval? I may be on the narrow road, following Christ, but am I trying to keep one foot on the broad, easy path as well?
Some follow the easy path out of ignorance, but most of us know the truth. Sometimes the cost of switching roads is just too high. Knowing the path and following it are two very different things. If Jesus words are to be believed, then the path we are on depends as much on how we walk as that which we confess to believe. We need to daily be willing to do whatever it takes to turn from self and follow the narrow path to life.