“Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14
August 19, 1982, was a very bad day for one Braves player in particular – a 25-year-old Dominican pitcher named Pascual Perez. Scheduled to make his third start for the team that season, Perez got lost on his way to the game… And by lost, I mean really lost. He literally circled the city twice on I-285, having no idea he was going in a massive circle. It wasn’t until he almost ran out of gas and stopped at a gas station, that he was told, “They are waiting for you at the stadium and no one knows where you are!” The attendant gave him directions and Perez arrived 20 minutes after the game had started. From that day forward, Perez’s teammates called him “I-285” and “Perimeter Perez.”
It’s hard to imagine how someone in today’s world, with our smartphones and apps like Waze or Google Maps, that one could make the same mistake as Pascual Perez. But how many of us live our lives feeling like we are lost and going around in circles with no end in sight? We seem to repeat the same patterns and the same habits, ending up where we’ve been countless times before.
- We feel frustrated in our relationship with our spouse – going around in circles
- We experience defeat in our work-life – going around in circles
- We are overwhelmed with financial problems – going around in circles
Maybe there is a little bit of Pascual Perez in all of us – an inability to find our way when we need it most.
In Matthew 7:14, Jesus, as He is approaching the end of what we refer to as the Sermon on the Mount, said:
“Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
What exactly does he mean by “small” and “narrow?” How in the world are we to find this particular road if it is so small and skinny? And what does He mean by “life?”
First of all, when Jesus says “small is the gate,” He’s not making a quantitative statement about the actual size of the gate; He is making a qualitative statement about it. He is saying the path that leads to abundant life may not be the one you are expecting. And the “life” of which He speaks refers to our lives ever after. The small gate and narrow road can lead us to eternal life in heaven with Him.
In John 14:6, Jesus clearly defines that path by saying “I am the way, the truth, and the life – no man comes to the Father except through me.” (Small gate – narrow path.) In Matthew 7:14, He is saying unequivocally that we have to choose which road we want to take.
One of the main reasons so many of us get stuck going around in circles is that we choose the wrong path and end up in the wrong destination. We think we are going the right way, but when we arrive we find disappointment.
Do you want to follow the world’s path of pursuing temporal things like popularity, power, or profit?
Or do you want to follow the path of Christ that leads to abundant, eternal life?
If you’re tired of running in circles because you’ve chosen the wrong road, choose to follow Jesus. It’s always the right decision.
Today and every day.
Written by Kevin Wood, Guest Contributor