Following my Savior down the STRAIGHT AND NARROW PATH for the past thirty-six years has been a challenge. The earthen trail has offered many uncertainties which have caused me to fear and lose sight of Christ along the way.
The Lord would say, “Follow my footsteps. Walk where I’ve walked. Don’t tarry.” He even offered to carry me at times, but my pride wouldn’t allow it. Therefore, I often found myself alone and confused.
Once, I came to a fork in the road. There were signs posted at the beginning of each path. One read: PEACE AND COMFORT – THIS WAY TO HEAVEN. The other shouted: TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS – THIS WAY TO HEAVEN.
I looked at the ground to see if I could tell which way my Lord had taken, but I found no clue. I peered down the one path and saw a treacherous dirt road bordered by jagged rocks. The skies in that direction appeared dark and dreary.
The other road was paved and lined with fine homes, each with picket fences and green lawns. Parked in their driveways was an assortment of luxury cars. Children were playing in many of the yards, while aromatic smoke rose over the top of some of the houses from active barbeque grills. The sun shone brightly. There was just enough breeze to keep it cool and comfortable and cause the Christian flags attached to the mailboxes to unfurl and wave to the passerby.
I studied the footprints again. It was evident that many more had traveled the paved road. My decision was made.
I started down the sun-kissed pavement, passing the first home. The children stopped their playing to smile and wave. From around the back corner of the house appeared four adults. They all waved and shouted “God bless you!” in my direction. I smiled and shouted back, “Thank you – same to you!”
At the second driveway, a man and his wife met me. “Where are you heading?” they asked.
“I’m going to heaven” was my answer. “Is this the way?”
“That’s what we’ve heard. Everyone on this street is going there too. Are you hungry?”
I joined them in the back yard, eating steak and enjoying conversation about their lives and how the Lord had blessed them. At one point I fell asleep in a reclining lawn chair with a glass of iced tea in my hand. When I awoke, the sun was setting.
The family convinced me to stay overnight. In fact, I enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner with them the next day… and the next week… and for a month or so after that. I felt very comfortable there. So much so that I forgot I was following Jesus.
One day, while we were talking about my time there, it was suggested I build a house at the end of the street. For a moment I entertained the thought. But then it hit me – “at the end of the street.” I thought this road led to heaven!
I ran out the front door and down the paved road, past waving kids and fancy cars – for what seemed like hours. The asphalt beneath my feet was getting hotter and hotter – until it ended abruptly at the edge of a dark smoldering wilderness that went on as far as the eye could see.
I had chosen a dead end.
I dropped to my knees and cried out to my Savior. “Lord Jesus. I am sorry I lost sight of you. I let my fears keep me from walking in your steps, and then allowed the comforts and pleasures of this life to lull me to sleep. I will make different choices if given another chance. Please don’t let this dead end be the end of my journey.”
Lifting my head, I saw the same two paths that were presented to me weeks earlier. I was no longer tempted to take the more alluring path. I shouted a “thank you” to my Lord and stepped onto the muddy trail.
There was a steady rain falling as I maneuvered around the first of many potholes.
Looking ahead, I spied a sharp turn with jagged rocks protruding out on one side and a steep drop off the other. Fear began to take over and I stopped.
“I need you, Jesus” I whispered.
From around the bend ahead my Lord appeared with His arms outstretched. I climbed into them and vowed to never lose sight of Him again.
I am still heaven-bound!
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