“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. 14For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it."
This was the meditation today in Forward Day by Day. It's another of those passages in the Gospels that folks tend to immediately glom onto "Good vs. Evil," as in "Wide gate=evil", "Narrow gate = good."
It's pretty simplistic to think of it in those terms, though.
You know, on the farm, narrow gates have purposes. Mostly, it's to bring one animal into an enclosure at a time, for purposes of vaccination, shearing, hoof trimming, counting, whatever. It has nothing to do with "good and evil," but everything with doing things one at a time.
What I think Jesus was getting at, with the narrow gate, was there are simply things in our lives we must take a lone path to get there. One where we can only enter one at a time. His own path was the ultimate "narrow gate."
Now, He might have already gone through the gate ahead of you, and has His hand out, encouraging you, but the gate simply only handles "one at a time."
When we go through the wide gate, we are going with the crowd. Nothing distinguishes us from the rest of the herd. It's easy to be lost in that crowd. The "destruction" comes from never being challenged to be all of what we're meant to be, or to be able to "hide from God" in the crowd and be separated from Him.
But when we go through the narrow gate, it is, in a sense, a "roll call." All eyes are on you. But that's not always bad. It's your chance to take all the good things about yourself through that gate, also.
The fact remains. Yes, part of our spiritual life is "in community." I'm grateful for it. But that doesn't make the parts where you are going through the narrow gate the antithesis to community.
When we choose the narrow gate, we choose OUR gate. The gate God picked out for us. Go boldly through it!