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
I went bowling with friends a few weeks ago and we had a blast! While setting up and getting our teams straight, I looked around and noticed the lanes with the bumpers raised. Of course, as a bowler, you don’t normally use the bumpers except for kids so that they can see their ball go straight for the pins, even if it bounces from side to side. Among the lanes with happy bowling children, there were a few adult bowlers that had the bumpers raised. Most of us would consider the grown crowd able to bowl but that is not always the case. A gutter ball makes even the best bowler frustrated! But we can rest assured that God’s word will direct us on the right path.
While watching this I began to think of the verse in Matthew that talks about the straight and narrow. It refers to it being the narrow and wide gates. Nothing in life is ever guaranteed to go straight, we all know that. In Psalm 16 we find that because the path is made known, we are filled with joy (v:11) In Proverbs 4 we ponder the path taken (v: 26, 27) and in Proverbs 8 we walk the path of justice and righteousness (v:20). As we walk through our life, there will be many things that will throw us off our path to Jesus. Like the bumpers, we will encounter things that we think are better for us than what God has planned and the bumper will gently guide us back to our goal of knocking the pins down or in this case walking in Gods purpose and plan for our lives. Consider the alley as the Holy Spirit; clear, bright, straight to the goal of Jesus! If we stay on this alley, we do not become tempted to veer off to fleshly desires (Galatians 5:16). But if we do then the bumpers (like our suffering), bump us back to knowing that one was already tempted and can help us with our being tempted (Hebrews 2:18). Finally, when we have reached the pins lined up so clearly before us (Jesus) we can know that getting that strike was the ultimate goal even with the lumps and bumps along the way! (Ephesians 6: 10-18) Those pins down there at the end are the sins we are attempting to knock out of our life for good and our belief in Jesus Christ and his death on the cross is just the beginning of the wonders available to us!
So the next time you are feeling like you have veered off course or have left the straight and narrow path, just know that your savior will always be there to gently guide you and keep you from harm!