“Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” On a recent biking adventure, Jonathan and I experienced an illustration of the narrow way and the broad way mentioned in Matthew 7:13-14.
As we unloaded the bikes from the van, we more than noticed the continual drizzle of rain falling from a lead sky. It wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. Notwithstanding, Jonathan and I headed off down the water-soaked path of the North Bend Rail Trail in hopes of witnessing some of the spectacular sights of the wild and wonderful countryside of northern West Virginia in autumn. There really wasn’t much to see at first, especially when we reached the end of town. Here the trail entered a deep valley where, after days of rain and years of plant growth, the path was muddy, rocky, and slippery. Trenches on either side, filled to the brim with water, weren’t very reassuring. Surrounded by the ugly undergrowth on the steep walls around us, I never once stopped to take a picture. There isn’t much to take pictures of in the narrow way; it’s not physically appealing.
Finally we left the despondent valley and a few hours later arrived at one of the trail’s landmarks: Tunnel #4. It very much reminded me of the broad way and wide gate. The entrance was huge. It wasn’t exactly inviting but the steep walls surrounding it offered no other alternative. Within was a shelter from the rain and enough light to walk safely … for the first few yards. The 846 foot long tunnel was deceptive. The farther you walked, the smaller the entrance became while the looming exit never changed size. And it was so dark that neither pit nor snare could be detected should any have been prepared.
Needless to say, I stopped to take many pictures of this wide “gate”. Even though it is a gloomy subject, it was inviting to the sense of adventure and pleasing to the eye. Similarly, the broad way of life is filled with people who are allured by that which appeals the physical senses. Because the narrow way deals with worshiping God in spirit, let us heed Christ’s warning to “watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38).