Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lent Day 8: A narrow life

Christians are often accused of being narrow-minded. That's not necessarily bad. Keep in mind, narrow-mindedness is not only true of us, but of everyone else in one aspect of life or another.

Depending on how "broadness" is defined, narrowness can be a good thing. Every task and vocation needs its definitions and delimitations. We need specialized information and practices that provide safety and direction.
  • I'd rather have a waiter in a restaurant with a food certificate than one in calculus or home decor. 
  • I don't think I'd like an airline pilot who was so broadminded that she treats a 747 with the same flexibility as a jet fighter. 
  • I really don't want my doctor to be so broadminded that he experiments on me with unproven medical techniques.

There are limits in our relationship with God, too. God, being the creator, gets to define those limits and lay out the boundaries for what pleases him and moves us closer to him.

Jesus, beloved by many and hated by others, walked a fine line of inclusion and separation. He warned his followers, "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.'" (Matthew 7:13-14)

The road to peace and harmony with God may be steep, but anything worth doing has a price. Eternal life is worth giving up temporary comforts, bearing every rejection, humiliation, and accusations of narrow-mindedness with a focus on the prize ahead.

It's vital to evaluate if the company we keep follows that narrow way or is swarming happily toward destruction.

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