Monday, August 26, 2013

The Narrow Gate

We don't make the trip through the Narrow Gate alone.  But we make the trip without the comfort of anonymity. Source of picture
Sunday's reading was from Luke and it was Jesus's discourse on the Narrow Gate.

I was sitting next to my 16 year old daughter as we listened to the homily chip around the edges of the message.  The sermon was intellectually elegant but did not pound on the core.

I felt my daughter slip into the zombie zone.  In part because this is a message she really does not want to hear.

Following the popular crowd is to use the wide gate.  Jesus tells us that many who use the wide gate will not go to heaven.
Jesus repeatedly compared us to sheep.  Accurate.  Not flattering.  In many respects, the single most important decision we make is who we hang out with.

To use a modern metaphor, you cannot count on cruise control to get you to heaven.

It is comfortable (and comforting) to be part of the in crowd.  Many of your choices are made for you.  They kinds of clothes to wear, vehicle to drive, where to vacation, what and where you eat and drink, the kind of job to seek. 

Time, talent and treasure.  Spoken for.

I understand that we are hardwired that way.  The people who were willfully oblivious to how to sew skins  in the time proven pattern very likely froze to death in the winter.  Or if they arrogantly hunted "their way" without respecting the tribal norms they likely starved.  Or if they pitched their teepee closer to the water than the rest of the village they would likely get carried away in a flash flood or get malaria.  I get that.

We are genetically hardwired to be sheep and to let the survivors guide our choices.

But that is the wide gate.

The narrow gate is to discern the mission(s) God intends for us and to follow them.  For me, today, that means driving a $1300 Cavalier and avoiding restaurants and stores as much as possible.  It means living in a house that has 35% fewer square feet than the average new house and mowing the grass with a push mower.

Fixed costs are evil.  Fixed costs are evil because they trap us into becoming The Hurried Samaritan. And choosing to pursue popularity and social approval, i.e. to exit via the wide gate, traps us into high fixed costs.

I have to be mindful that my 16 year old is still a work in progress.  In many of life's arenas she is healthily indifferent to the opinions of "The Crowd".  She also has a habit of being verbally non-compliant....but then doing the right thing.  I am not inside her head but it may be a strategy to buy a little time to mentally process.

1 comment:

  1. Interestingly, our sermon this week was on the exact same topic. The road to hell is wide, the road to heaven is narrow.


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