If there's a group of people that truly appreciates the road less traveled, it's the motorcycle community. We even have special maps that lay out routes that are scenic and/or fun and challenging to ride. Give us anything but a flat, wide, traffic-jammed, boring highway. For most of us its about the ride, not simply the destination.
In fact, I can't think of a single person that would ever prefer to take a major highway over a beautiful scenic, yet we all do it all the time. The highway is broad and capable of accommodating many people. It's less challenging to navigate, and gets you to your destination faster. Its a no-brainer for commuters or travelers who are on a tight schedule. It's just easier.
Jesus said, "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and its gate is wide for the many that choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it." (Matthew 7:13-14). Most of my younger life, this was a really troubling passage for me. I was like, why can't the road to Heaven be broad and wide and easy. Why did God choose to make it hard?? As I've lived and matured, I've realized how immature and inexperienced that idea was. First of all, God didn't choose to make life hard for us or make Himself hard to find. In fact, He created a perfect place for us to live, provided for and protected us. We chose to disobey the ONE commandment He gave us and banished ourselves from that perfect place where we walked with God physically in the cool of the afternoon, where creation easily gave up her fruits to sustain us. We created hardship for ourselves and allowed our disobedience to separate us from our Creator in that beautiful place. We could never again walk with God, or know the peace, safety and comfort He designed for us. But God, out of His great love for us, created again: a new way to restore us to Him in right relationship, a way that was riddled with hardship and trials, temptation and suffering for Himself as well. He sent His Son, Jesus to live as one of us, to experience everything we experience, to face the same struggles and temptations that we do. Yet He overcame them all, and went to His death, even death on a cross (the most horrific, excruciating and humiliating form of torture and execution of all time!), was buried and rose again in power and glory on the third day. He forever paid the price for our sins so when we repent and place our trust in Him, we can wear His righteousness and be restored to our Father again (John 1:12). Thank you Jesus! It is only because of Him and through Him that we can find life, and peace and relationship with our Creator again (John 14:6).
I met Jesus and gave my life to Him at a very young age (2 years old actually, watching The 700 Club with my mom). I have always loved Him and believed in Him but I went my own way many times, shunned by the church and wooed by the comfort and ease the world offered by just following the crowd and doing what everyone else did. A story for another time, all I will say is that yes, following the crowd along that wide highway was super easy. I made so many ‘friends’ and got bullied less, but the comfort and fun the world offered was riddled with heartache, disappointment, moral failure, abandonment, sickness and disease and a fast track to death, physically and morally. But God. He picked me up, dusted me off, healed me, cleansed me, restored me to Him and I could never go back to the worthless, empty promises of the world. The journey alongside my King is unlike anything the world could offer. There is a depth and a joy, a peace and a richness of experience that only those who are also on that narrow road with Him can understand. This doesn't mean life is easy now, or that I never make a mistake. I still stumble, make mistakes, and face hardships but I'm growing each time I recognize it, repent, ask for His direction and move on. I am no longer stuck in my sins and controlled by fear. I am free because of the blood of the Lamb and the power of His name, Jesus!
Have you ever rode the Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap, North Carolina? If so you know, the road is narrow, challenging, full of twists and tight turns, ups and downs with steep drop offs and little room for error. It can be tempting to go faster than you should or pass another slower rider at times, but this often leads to a permanent place on the Tree of Shame. The road, although tempting and challenging, also has many signs posted to help you navigate what's up ahead if you obey their warnings and guidance. The Tail of the Dragon can be a challenge for even the most experienced rider, but oh, is it worth it! The views and the bragging rights that come after finishing this daunting journey along this beautiful mountain pass are unlike anything else I've ever experienced. I don't think its hard to make the connection here with what walking through this life can be like. In John 16: 33 Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." He gave us His word, the Bible, as a roadmap with signs that guide us along a beautiful, scenic journey with Him. This walk is beautiful and exciting although not without its challenges and trials, but He has provided us warnings and guidance in His word on how to safely navigate them all while simultaneously experiencing the beauty and richness of a life spent with Him. And then at the end of our road, the bragging rights of being told by Him who sits on the Throne, seeing us drenched in the righteousness of His son, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord." (Matthew 25:21). The good life, with an even greater eternity? Who wouldn't want to take that beautiful, narrow road?? Come take the road less travelled with me and let's make Heaven crowded.
(If you want to know more about how to enter into a life with Jesus at the forefront, please feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a comment here.)
Also, if you've experienced the Tail of the Dragon or want to recommend another great ride tell me all about it in the comments! We're always looking for new ride suggestions!