13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matt 7:13-14 NKJV
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.-Robert Frost
Recently I was plotting a new route to the top of a lofty 13,000 ft peak deep in the Pecos Wilderness. As I pored over topo maps and trip descriptions in preparation for a backpacking trip with a men’s group later this month, a bold path appeared, one with miles of off-trail, and the need for careful route finding and planning. This lead me to think about the nature of travel in the wilderness in our modern world. In a day and age of huge metropolises and multi-lane interstate highways, more than ever there is a need for the road less traveled.
Most backpackers rely on well worn and traveled paths to get them to their destination, and there is value in sticking to the established trail, both from a risk management perspective and an environmental stewardship one. I for one am thankful that there still exist in this great country destinations for which no established trail is available. There is great value in striking out in the wilderness with only a map and compass to guide you.
In two recent conversations with agnostics, I was struck once again by the exclusivity of the claims of Christ. To truly follow the Lordship of Jesus means to abandon the wide paths of secular humanism and universalism for a narrow Way fraught with peril and tough decisions. My two friends recognized the difficulty of this and favored the broad and open path rather than my “narrow-minded” worldview of Biblical Christianity. Although both conversations were amicable and my new friends were very respectful, the tension between the broad and narrow ways was still palpable.
So many in this world favor the well traveled path, seeing it as the way to freedom. They see the world in terms of many roads that all lead to the same destination. Jesus stands in direct opposition to this way of thinking proclaiming, “I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father but by Me.” I am so thankful for the true freedom I have found in following the narrow Way of Jesus, confident that He is leading me and guiding me by His loving hand into the wilderness of great adventure and lands unknown, daily growing deeper in relationship with Him. I have chosen the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference.
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