The Easy Way Out
Short cuts, cutting corners (passing through gasoline stations), the fastest routes, the shortest routes… don’t most of us drivers, have these habits? I must confess I am not a patient person when it comes to dealing with Manila traffic. It seems to me that often the other lanes are moving faster than the one I am on. 😛 Same with checkout counters, I always look around for the shortest queues or the queue with the least items on the counter for checkout. I would change counter only to find that the one I left was better than the one i switched to. 😭
I have learned my lessons that many times, the shortest route or the seemingly fastest or easiest way out is not always the best. I have foolishly thought that my automatic sedan could wade through the flood and I could get home faster coz the street was almost empty. And what did that get me – stranded in the middle of the road with water splashing all around – it’s like a raft in the middle of the creek. And guess who happened to pass by in his SUV?! Hubby! God is gracious and merciful to this dummy driver. Lesson learned: the easy way out is not the best at all.
Jesus could have gone down from the cross when people mocked and challenged him to do so. It would be quite a sight for the crucified Christ to just free himself from death. The people at the foot of the cross said they would believe him if he did. Yet Jesus persevered and obeyed God unto death. His was definitely not the easy way out.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14 NASB
So with us Christians, followers of Jesus. Jesus called us to enter through the narrow gate – the small gate that leads to life. There are few who find it.
It is not easy to be law-abiding when many are not. It takes courage to stand alone for the right and the just when others are against you. Why pay taxes when many are evading taxes? Why pay the right amount when others are paying less?
Why should I forgive and forgive when people do not seem to change? It is difficult to love the enemy. The enemy is never lovable. Why do I have to go the extra mile when others do not care less?
The narrow gate is the way of the cross.
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.. (Luke 9:23)
To enter the narrow gate is to deny myself and say ‘no’ to my flesh – to deny my sinful physical urge to take the easy way out. The cross is not for the faint-hearted because it is the small narrow path to life – eternal life on earth as it is in heaven… the way to follow Jesus.
Hubby gave me a poster long long time ago: Do not pray for an easy life. Pray to be a strong person.
Dear Jesus, help me to follow you closely. Enable me to say ‘no’ to the easy way out. Empower me to take up my cross today – to enter the narrow gate – to love you with all my heart and love my neighbour as myself. Amen.