one of the great things about being the wife of a pastor is that you get to hear your husband preach. which, i suppose could also be the worst thing, depending on the preacher. thankfully, in my case, it's a constant privilege to sit under scott's teaching, to hear his heart, and to be drawn into his passion for Christ, for the pursuit of godliness, for truth.
i noticed yesterday that when he speaks my husband has a little repeated mannerism: he plays with his wedding ring. and i had the thought "i put that ring on his finger" and then i got all emotional. sometimes i still can't believe that he picked me.
i know there are a few of you out there who still can't believe it either.
anyways, back to the sermon yesterday. it was titled "the gift of the narrow road". he talked about how we as Christians balk at the idea of narrow-mindedness, narrow living, of being labelled "narrow" in any sense. because we who have experienced, and are experiencing, this life with Christ would describe it as expansive, and spacious and beautiful and life-giving. i would testify to a new life, a deep breath, a growing heart, a stable joy. this is what "Christianity" feels like to me.
and, yet, in Matt. 7:13-14 we are called by Jesus to walk in a way that is, yes, narrow. narrow in the sense of obedience, allegiance, and trust. and i started seeing this "narrow road" as difficult. squishy. tedious at times. exhausting. and i had the realization that my sin is so easy.
it's like i'm walking down this prickly path - oh, yes, it's beautiful. look at the flowers, smell the sunshine and hear the birds, but ouch! it hurts to be reminded of my jealousy and pride. ugh! i just spent half a day trying to get out of a puddle of judgement. i have to turn sideways to squeeze through that awful temptation to gossip. i just want to sit down. i just want to lie back. i just want to stop the perseverance.
whoa....look at the wide road over there! that looks comfy..... i can do whatever i want.
it's so appealing, isn't it? it looks so easy.
but i've been down that road before. i have to quickly rummage through my backpack and take out my scrapbook (just kidding, i don't scrapbook). i find my journal and remember that around the corner on that broad and easy road is fear. lots of it. broken relationships. guilt. loss. a sense of desperation. death. death of who i want to be. death of my purpose and my future.
suddenly this little narrow road looks pretty amazing. especially since i never walk it alone.
i hear Jesus saying "come to me if you're weary and burdened and rest with me". and i remember that he's walked this road before - perfectly. i will follow his lead. we can sit on the side of the road and eat some bread, drink some wine, and marvel at the beauty of it all.
if you'd like to hear scott's sermon, it's here.