Staying On The Straight And Narrow

August 1, 1999
by Margaret Vanderzweerde

Matthew 7:13-14 – Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only few find it. (NIV)

In Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, three people were killed in motor vehicle accidents recently, all within a period of three days. A young woman from Toronto hit a tree, a 74-year-old man from Holland, New York, collided with a tour bus, and a young man, in his thirties, drove into the path of an oncoming truck. All were terrible accidents, plunging families into deep mourning.

What did each of these accidents have in common? The drivers all left the right lane, crossed over the centre line, and into eternity.

We are tempted to ask "why?" and will not get all the answers. However, one thing we do know: there was one common element which seems to have led to their deaths. They all swerved to the left, crossing the dividing line on the road. Could it have been that the woman from Toronto and the man from New York were looking at the beautiful scenery along the Niagara River? And may the young man have been looking at summer activities at a strip mall?

It is common knowledge that when we take our eyes off the road ahead of us, our car, inadvertently, follows the path of our eyes.

We can apply this truth to our Christian walk as well. Many are the references in scripture regarding the paths we choose to follow, and we are admonished to follow God's ways. My concordance refers me to over 100 texts dealing with "paths" and "ways" necessary for the gospel walk. Yet we wander. Eyes have been turned to pleasures that would keep us from having time for, and communion with, God.

Sunday attendance at worship has declined to the extent that it is alarming. Much of this is due to the fact that parents take children to sporting events, families go camping and/or boating on weekends and couples go golfing. Or did Saturday night's activities take too much out of them?

Mid-week group and prayer meetings, Bible studies and other church activities are sparsely attended because there are countless reasons to be invented for not attending, none of which are related to life as a Christian. Our eyes are easily turned left or right and we run the risk of eternal alienation from God. Are all our outside interests worth that? Let us think about it and ask God, the Holy Spirit, to give wisdom and discernment in re-evaluating our priorities and choosing paths that keep us on the straight and narrow, leading to life in Christ.

Prayer: Gracious and loving God, we acknowledge that we are easily led by that which would keep us from you. Help us and guide us, through Your Spirit, for a closer walk with You. Amen.Hymn:

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of earth
    Will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.

About the author:

Margaret Vanderzweerde
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

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