Encouragement for Today - July 17, 2009
July 17, 2009
Driving Tips for 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 (NIV)
I found myself leaning hard to the left from the passenger’s seat of the car. You know the type of nervous-passenger move when you are sure something bad is about to happen, and somehow you think you can stop it – or at least move away from it. Only nothing helps when your offspring is learning to drive.
I’m going through this learning process with my second child, and it’s not getting any easier. He still has to pry the car keys from my clutched fingers. And yet I know he needs the practice, so into the big boat with wheels we go. It’s not that this son is a bad driver, it’s just he has one very nerve-wracking tendency – he drifts to the right.
Whether he’s in the left, middle or right lane makes no difference. He consistently drifts over the dotted line or too close to the curb. As I try to help with my leaning, cringing and bracing for impact, I wonder when the lanes became so narrow. They seem wider when I’m driving. Now they are closing in on us as we barrel down the road.
The narrow road is breathtaking, in the very scariest sense of the word. A wrong move brings the promise of unpleasant consequences. I know – I’ve crossed over the line before in my own life, and live with regrets. And I wonder, as I ponder this concept, is it possible to stay on the narrow road? Jesus clearly calls us to it in the book of Matthew. We read in chapter 7, verses 13 and 14, “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.” But can we do it?
Jesus believes so. He knows the road to a faith-filled life isn’t easy, but it can be found. As I’ve thought about staying true to my faith in Christ, I realize that I’ve given my son some driving advice that applies to my own life:
Stay alert to who is around you. Choosing the right friends is one of the top lessons I’ve learned about staying true to my faith. It’s amazing how a friend’s suggestions or words can take you on a detour from where you want to be. Yet the right words and encouragement can bring joy and peace.
Keep focused on the road ahead. Knowing where I want to be spiritually is a big step in the right direction. When I have a vision of what a follower of Jesus looks like, I’m better able to follow through.
Don’t be overconfident. Overconfidence in my own power and abilities is very dangerous. Every time I think I’ve got a problem under control, I discover once again how much I need God. However, living daily with my desperate need for a Savior keeps me on the right path.
We’ve all been called to a different life as Christians. We don’t walk the same road the world walks, and at times it feels scary and uncomfortable. Yet the good news is we’ve been given sisters and brothers in Christ to walk beside us and help keep us focused. Although I may not ever relax when a beginning driver is in control of the car, I know I can relax because God is in control of my life. Recognizing that, the narrow road isn’t quite so intimidating.
Dear Lord, You know how much I long to stay on the narrow road in my faith. Yet I find myself drifting across the dotted line too many times. I know I can’t do this without You. Please help me be the woman You have called me to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Visit Glynnis Whitwer’s blog for more encouragement today.
6 Habits of Highly Effective Christians by Brian T. Anderson & Glynnis Whitwer
Identify an area of your life that you know is crossing the line of where you want to be. Make a decision to change one habit or activity this week that will keep you on the right path in that area of your life.
What are some common areas Christian women find themselves crossing over the line?
What are one or two habits women can establish to help them stay true to their faith?
Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (NIV)
Matthew 25:21, “His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!” (NIV)
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