Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Dangers of a Wider Road

Sandra and I were cruising south along on Highway 2 on our way to our intended destination at Pine Lake Christian camp. Suddenly, all the vehicles in front of us slammed on their brakes as 4 lanes narrowed to two at that point. What was the problem? Two police officers were wandering along the highway. At first, I could not see why the lanes would be blocked. Then, I noticed two deep black tire marks swerving across four southbound lanes, across the grassy median and then across the northbound lanes. The trail seemed to end in the ditch on the far side.

The problem seemed obvious. Someone was driving much too fast and lost control of his vehicle. There are many incidents such as this. It seems that some cannot handle good weather, good road conditions and lots of room to drive. Such persons act irresponsibly. When life is good and there are no major problems on their horizon, they go wild! Focusing on themselves, they will do anything for a good time, even when it endangers the lives of others.

Sinful human nature can be very evident in the way we drive. Like an extra wide highway, so many cannot handle the extra room, extra money, or extra energy. Instead of acting with thankfulness to God and responsibly toward others, we can waste our blessings and be a danger to ourselves and to the wider community.

Spiritual life is like this. I am reminded of the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:13:

“Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life”. Those who seek for hope and fulfillment must beware of wider roads that can so easily distract from the true road to Jesus, the Savior and source of life. Those of us who are Christians must also be very careful to accept God’s discipline in our lives so that we do not get weaker with popular fads and entertainment around us but grow stronger in our faith and more like Jesus in our character.

“…God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in His holiness. …Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then, those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong.” (Hebrews 12:10b, 13, NLT)

No wonder, God allows obstacles to often narrow our paths or discipline us with trials or challenges of all kinds. If we respond in obedience to him, we can thrive as we drive and avoid the “dangers of the wider road.”

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