by Judy Webb
"Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention."
(Matthew 7:13-14 MSG)
The Message version of this text grabbed my heart. I was challenged to ask myself: Is it easy to follow Jesus? Is it difficult to do the next right thing? Can we journey on the path to everlasting life without taking things seriously? If you have ever tried to exchange a bad behavior, for a good one, you know it is anything but simple. It takes effort and diligence to be a better person. Ask anyone in the recovery world. And face it, aren’t we all recovering from something?
My journey started in my early thirties and continues to this day. It began when I knew there was something missing, someone missing from my life. That something was Jesus. I knew who He was, and I believed in Him, but I didn’t really care. It is said, you have to hit bottom before you can begin the climb out of the hole you have dug for yourself. What’s your story? Have you shared it with someone who needs to hear it?
The entrance to a better life, the on-ramp to a world which leads to peace and hope, is not easily navigated. It takes obedience and determination and most of all faith. “Narrow the gate” means that not everyone will want to do the hard work required to embrace abundant life. Most aren’t prepared to give up the self-indulgent way and surrender to the only life worth living.
Today, ask yourself this: Am I happy and confident with who I am? Am I searching for something just out of reach? Do I want more out of life than just getting past each day? Then do what I did over 40 years ago, and ask Jesus to light your path. He will bring someone, or a few someone’s showing you the key to true happiness.
Let us always remember, The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.
Dear Jesus, You know me and you love me, anyway. Show me how to help others to have this relationship with you. Help me be a guiding light for someone's dark path.