Have you ever thought about the difference between safe and good? How sometimes the good thing feels unsafe, but is better than the safe thing which feels good…especially in the long run?
Did that screw with your brain? Sorry; not sorry.
It’s the way I believe life should be lived. Not the “Good Life” that we’re fed in cola commercials, but the good life, the not-safe-life.
“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)
The Narrow Way is the life that Jesus lived. If you look carefully, there was nothing “safe” about the way He lived His life while He was walking around in a body on earth.
‘They’ tried to throw Him off a cliff,
He hung out with the out-crowd,
He hung out with the in-crowd,
He broke boundaries to reach people,
He pushed peoples spiritual and religious perceptions,
He pushed His families’ tolerance levels,
He spent the majority of His time with (among others) thieves, assassins and prostitutes,
He stayed up until all hours praying and fasting (He called this ‘watching’),
He turned the status ladder of the time upside down- children and women were incredibly important,
He did what He knew God was asking Him to, even when He knew it was going to get Him killed.
Those verses in Matthew 7 are two out of the “Sermon on the Mount” that we split up into 3 chapters in Matthew (Matthew chapters 5-7) where Jesus breaks down all the things God values, and condenses them into a sermon. All the most important character traits, ethics, lifestyle, values, morality, they are all there in one speech.
Now, we have the lifetimes work of living them the same way Jesus lived them.
Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19 (NIV)
As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. John 17:18 (NIV)
Not the most fun prospect hey! Yes, choosing to follow this Jesus is a choice into the love affair of our lifetime, complete with unaccountable peace and all kinds of other amazing things. However, it’s also a life which requires us to take our hats off, roll up our sleeves and muck in at the deep end.
It’s the deep end of ourselves as well as the deep end of the world.
If we take the example of Mother Theresa, not one of us could say she wasn’t committed to Our Lord. She was a woman who while here walked the Narrow Way. All of who she was, was given to Jesus. Everything she did, was for Jesus. Her lifestyle was Jesus, her example was Jesus, her voice- her words, were Jesus.
She lived a lifestyle of dedication to all of who God is, to all of who He wants us to be.
She didn’t live a safe life. She lived among disease, extreme poverty, and when she ventured out into the first world, she spoke God’s mind in a way which would have gotten most people publicly (figuratively at least) slaughtered.
It’s not necessary for all of us to join a monastic order to follow the Narrow Way. Monastic Orders are a new thing in comp