Today we are honoring our graduating seniors. This is an important milestone in their lives, marking the transition from childhood to adulthood. Graduates make a lot of important decisions around this time in their lives with far reaching consequences. As their spiritual family we want to encourage them to choose wisely.
In truth, we are all choosing how we will walk through the life we have been given. Jesus encouraged us to choose carefully the path we walk through life. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 NIV)
Here is that same passage from The Message: “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.”
Vigorous and demanding our total attention! That is a great description of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Every day we choose – in a wide variety of ways and situations – which path we will walk. “Broad way” is well beaten and fully populated, making it quite easy and popular to walk. “Narrow way” is less populated and presents many challenges from those who choose to walk it. Jesus says to choose the narrow way because it leads to life!
Currently there is a lot of attention being given to divergent paths – and Christians often feel that their way of life is under attack. We should understand from Jesus (along with all the other New Testament writers) that our choice to walk the narrow path will never be appreciated by those on the broad way. This is true in all times and in all places – followers of Jesus will always be misunderstood and harassed by those who do not follow. But we are told this from the day we decide to take a step down the path of righteousness. We walk with Jesus, not to the applause of the unbelieving world.
C.S. Lewis once said: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." We want to encourage everyone, and especially our young people, to be people who say to God – “Not my will, but yours be done in my life!”
- Kenny Payne