Jesus warned His disciples that the path of righteousness is a narrow road. This is true. And as we journey further down that road, it only get narrower.
We all have kind of a mental image of what this looks like. We think the narrow road starts narrow, so narrow that it may perhaps even be hard to find in a world such as ours, and it leads us through tighter and tighter spaces toward righteousness until it's barely wide enough that we even fit on it at all. We have to walk with clothes-lined feet, heel-to-toe, to even stay on the path.
That's one way to look at it.
But the other night, I was having a conception of this that changed the way I think about the narrow road and what it means to walk down it.
When you start your journey with Christ, He is but one path you could choose for your life. There are many doors in front of you, all of them with their own pros and cons. You choose to head toward Christ, and that is one choice. One narrow choice in a broad world of options.
At the next juncture, there are still many doors but you can rule a few out right away. They don't mesh with the decision you just made. And so although it looks like you have just as many options, you already know in your heart that you don't. Of all the things you could choose, there are some you simply can't. And of the things you still can, it's a little bit easier to choose Christ again.
Which brings you to yet another set of doors, another series of options. This time, you can rule out even more right away. You've just taken two bold, definitive steps in God's direction and these doors would clearly be serious detours. You still have some good options in front of you, but not as many as there would seem and so once again, it's a little bit easier to choose Christ this time.
Which leads you to yet another set of doors....and you get the picture. There is always a broad way and a narrow way, always just as many options as before, but the further you travel down the narrow road, the more quickly you recognize that what looks like an option really isn't. What looks like a good choice is not the best choice. As time goes by and you continue walking the narrow road, the road grows narrower because there aren't as many actual options, only temptations, until you reach the point where there is only one viable choice: that of Christ. You walk into a room full of doors and know instantly which one is His and without hesitation, step through it.
The narrow road grows narrower until you develop tunnel-vision and begin to see only Christ.
This is called discipleship.
This is what it means to grow in Christ, and it doesn't take some feat of balance or some tight-rope, heel-to-toe walking. It just means faithfully choosing Christ time and time and time again until He becomes the only real option in front of you. Until choosing Christ is no choice at all. Until Christ becomes just the logical, natural, instinctual thing that you do.