Pastor’s Corner: “Escalator or Stairs”
Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV) – The Narrow and Wide Gates – 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
So which do you prefer? The escalator or the stairs? It’s a crossroads you’ll face. Soon you’ll encounter this opportunity looking up, or down, a pathway of two choices — one easy and one hard. And like most of the other 97% of the world, you’ll take the escalator, it is after all easier. But in this choice to opt for what is easy, do you just make things harder for yourself down the road? Could this vote for ease be a ticket to status quo, average, and mediocrity end up resulting in more pain, suffering and misery in the future?
Do not be afraid to face the hard things in your life. Growth in the past enables us to face hardship in the future. Do not try to skip the hard way in your life. The hard way may include choosing forgiveness over bitterness – choosing to love over hate – choosing to follow the Spirit over the flesh – choosing healing in grief – giving grace over judgement – giving mercy rather than demand justice – choosing humility over being lifted up – choosing to serve (washing others feet)rather than be served – considering others better than yourselves – selflessness over selfishness – choosing to walk with others in their pain and suffering – surrendering your control to God’s control – walking in truth rather than lies – choosing faith over fear – trust over worry.
Hard things in our lives have a way of calling into question what we know to be true. And this even includes what we know to be true about God. Knowing God sustains us when we don’t know or understand everything else going on around us. This illuminates our need to cultivate our relationship with God, setting aside time to be with Him in prayer, listening to His voice and learning who He is through His Word. We cannot take the stairs without His help.
Making time with God a priority now prepares us for what’s ahead. Psalm 9:10 (NIV) – “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” What does it mean to know God’s name? It means we know who He is — His unchanging character. The Bible explains He is trustworthy, omnipotent (all powerful), faithful and sovereign. We all need this knowledge of who God is, no matter what we’re going through. God invites us to come to Him. Know His name. And trust Him. You see, it’s easy to follow God in the good times, but when the hard times come, will we know Him enough to trust Him?
Today take the stairs. Carry your luggage up the stairs and watch everyone else take the escalator. It’ll change your perspective. On the stairs, there’s no line, no crowd. Then glance over at all the escalator people as they reason “it’s easier.” Keep in mind your making one small choice to take the difficult road prepares and strengthens you for the future and reveals the character and nature of God to you and to others watching you now. Be among the 3%. Go “narrow.” Travel the “hard way.” “Find the life that few find.” Take the stairs. LEARN TO TRUST HIM MORE!
In His Grace,