By Jim Miller
Mat 7:13 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: Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
I do not believe it can be stated any clearer than the very words of our Lord that there will be few that find the straight way. Finding the straight way is easy enough, staying on it is another.
I have sat and watched children trying to walk on a narrow beam of wood and noticed many times it is easier for the smaller ones to walk the beam without losing their balance than the taller ones. Science will tell you it is because the smaller child has a lower center of gravity thus making it easier for them walk the length of the beam. Taller children can learn to balance their bodies by holding out their arms and leaning first one way and then the other and with much practice they learn to walk the beam with confidence. At the same time I have watched some children try many times without success and they become discouraged and simply walk away defeated. Needless to say there are many other factors also that play a part in their ability to walk the beam but I believe there are two that stand out. One is balance the other is a willingness not to give up or accept defeat.
The Christian life is much the same way. Just as the beam the child walks is straight and narrow the path Christ wants us to walk is the same. Like the smaller children some Christians have a lower center of gravity because they were brought up properly in the truth of Gods word. The taller or less balanced Christian has practiced or studied much to find the path and walk it and has not given up. Then there are those who try several times to get on the path but instead of continuing to try and stay on it they simply give up and go back into the world or seek a doctrine they can more easily agree with.
Now consider this, if the beam were wider, say that you could stand on it with both feed with room to spare the likely hood of falling of that beam is much less is it not? However, the narrow beam is the one that teaches balance and for most teaches perseverance and builds character. Whereas the larger or wider beam even if crooked is easier to walk yet teaches nothing but laziness and leads to no good end at all.
Being a Christian is not to be looking for a wider beam but learning to master the smaller beam. So, lets say we see someone walking on the wider beam and know there is no good end to it and because we love that person we go to them and say hey, I can help you walk on the smaller beam and you take them by the hand and walk beside them on that narrow beam until they themselves can walk it alone. Is this not what Christ expects us to do? We know that not everyone wants to walk the narrow beam regardless if we help them or not. Those are the folks that really do not care where they end up and as sad as it is you in order to help others who are trying you must put them away from you.
One other thing you must learn is that no matter how well balanced you are no matter how hard you try there will be times when you fall off the beam the important thing is that you get back on and keep going. The second you give up and choose to walk on the wider beam you change your destination.
Isn't it amazing what we can learn from a simple child's game?