When my husband and I take a road trip by ourselves we like to take the back roads, avoiding the interstates as much as possible. We meander through the countryside and are in no hurry to arrive at our destination. We enjoy the interesting scenery that isn’t visible from the freeway.
When we go to visit our grandchildren it’s a different story. We have no time for meandering, we have an agenda. We are interested in only one thing and that’s seeing those adorable little faces that greet us after a full day of driving. We get there as quickly as we can, stopping only when absolutely necessary and then it’s a quick, no-nonsense stop and back in the car again.
Why do most people choose the interstates to get around? It’s because we have an agenda and we need to get there in a hurry. No time for delays of any kind. We hop on the freeway, set the cruise control, and zoom along. Sometimes when we go through large cities there can be eight or more lanes of traffic in each direction. Everyone is on autopilot, getting in the zone, and flowing mindlessly with the traffic.
Have you ever taken a narrow, winding mountain road? There’s no zoning out or cruise control on this trip! You have to focus on the road as well as keep a close watch on the steep drop off on the side of the pavement. There isn’t much room to maneuver and little margin for error. But there are times when the road evens out and the scenery is breathtaking. And the little towns that come along every once in a while are often worth a stop to explore for a little while.
Matthew speaks of another narrow road.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” – Matthew 7:13-14
The freeway is plenty wide and you have lots of company. The narrow way can be lonely and difficult at times. But how much you miss if you take the freeway with everyone else, all of them locked in with their cruise control and moving along without any concern for their surroundings.
The narrow road is more difficult to manage, it has ups and downs, it has tight, blind curves that make you slow down. But if you manage to stay on the road, you’ll have a much richer experience.
And isn’t it that way with life? God’s road may be narrow, and the gate a tight fit but the things He’ll show you will leave you speechless. And the people you’ll meet will change you forever. So slow down and take the byway instead of the highway. The scenery is worth it and the destination is beyond imagination.