Walking through the narrow gate is difficult in today’s world. Yet, it’s always been difficult:
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 a few find it.New International Version, Matthew 7:13-14
That verse comes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which I highly recommend you read in full. It contains various lessons, parables, and rules for humanity to live by. If one observes Jesus’ directions and heeds His warnings that person’s life would progress smoothly as one could in this flawed world. Although everyone will run into trouble throughout their lives, at least those following Jesus’ teachings won’t be responsible for creating their troubles.
Yet, that seems to be a skill us humans are proficient in. We know how to trip ourselves up. And sometimes we do so repeatedly. One of the easiest ways we accomplish this feat is seeking comfort. God knows how much humans love comfort and the lengths many will go to get comfortable and stay comfortable. And with various advancements in technology we have multiple ways to seek and attain said comfort at our fingertips.
Why Is Walking Through The Narrow Gate Difficult? Humans Hate Discomfort
Why would anyone choose to live in discomfort? To take on challenges and difficulties? Thus, many of us enter through the wide gate and shun the narrow gate.
I was part of the group who entered the wide gate, and I entered through it in my early 20s. I wanted to live an easy and carefree life. And I did. It wasn’t until I was almost 30 years old when I saw the destruction I was headed to. It’s funny: I didn’t get a scary warning about the trouble ahead. There was no red blinking light, nor a sign I could read. Nope, I drifted toward destruction embraced in comfort with uneasiness growing within me.
My uneasiness started out blandly as unfulfillment. Although my life was easy and simple, and I wanted for little, I wasn’t happy. I told myself I should be happy because I had so much and was in a good spot in my life. Yet, my unfulfillment grew. I started to take no pleasure in my various fleshly pursuits so I sought new ones. Those new sins of the flesh distracted me for awhile and my abated my uneasiness. Until it redoubled its efforts and attacked me again. I learned my fleshly pursuits didn’t nourish my soul for long and left me yearning for more. So I gave it. Yet, my pleasure and distraction was short-lived as before.
Lacking Purpose Leads Us Down The Wide Path
At that point in my life I was hungry for a permanent solution. I was tired of the uneasiness plaguing my being. After looking within myself and reviewing the path I chose I discovered the culprit: Lack of purpose.
It sounds cliché but my life back then was one without purpose. I just existed. I existed to work, to live it up on the weekends. And I existed to find the next thing that would excite me, most likely some form of entertainment. Thus, I floated to specific points in my life following this aimless routine that sapped my soul and bred uneasiness within me. So how did I escape? How did I solve my predicament permanently? I decided to exit through the wide gate and walk over to enter the narrow gate. I finally accepted living as a proper Christian.
Walking Through The Narrow Gate Is Difficult Because Living As A Christian Is Difficult
I was raised Christian as my family attended a Baptist church. Yet, we didn’t follow the Baptist ways strictly. I also attended a Catholic school from Kindergarten through high school. I asked my mom why she sent my brother and I to a Catholic school even though we didn’t follow their faith and her response was: God is God. By the time I finished high school my knowledge of Christianity was basic.
Oh, I believed in God and said Jesus was my savior but I didn’t act behavior like a Christian. Because I still sinned. I broke some of the Ten Commandments over and over. I didn’t love my neighbor like I loved myself. Oh yes, I knew the “important parts” about the religion but I never read The Bible properly like I should’ve. A part of me thought The Bible was boring so I didn’t read it. That part of me changed when I searched for an answer to my problem.
I realized I needed to start living the life as a Christian. It was time to cast off my old life and dedicate this new one to God. I stopped my fleshly pursuits. I watched what I said and monitored my actions. It’s easy to write about this now but it wasn’t easy to go through this change. The temptation I went through was constant. I guess my mom saw my transformation because she asked my brother and I get to baptized. We told her we would and that’s what we did. After that I was dedicate to following Jesus’ teachings and living a proper Christian life.
How’s My Life Now?
The reality of living a proper Christian life is this: It’s boring when compared to my old life. My old life of sin was fun and exciting. That’s why all of us love to participate in sin. Yet, that life was full of stress and noise. I had no peace living that way. With my new (and present) life I have little stress and my soul is at peace.
That’s been the biggest boon since entering the narrow gate: Attaining contentment. Every day and night I wake up and go to sleep feeling good. Yes, the temptation to oblige my fleshly desires flares up occasionally but I have the knowledge to squash that feeling. Although I remember the pleasure I received from the sins of the flesh I rather stay in the comfort that contentment brings me as I continue to follow Jesus’ teachings.