Matthew 7:13-14 – 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. (NIV)
While recently caring for Mary, the six-year-old daughter of an ill friend, I found myself reading to her from her favourite book, The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.
We had come to the part in the story where Alice arrives at a fork in the road she is travelling, uncertain which way to go. Conveniently, in a tree at the roadside, is a Cheshire cat, ready to give advice.
Alice asks the cat which way she should go, and the cat replies that it depends on where she is going. Alice answers that she doesn't much care, and so the cat says, "Well, then, it doesn't really matter which road you take."
At this point, Mary looked at me, with innocent, big, blue peepers, and said, "Auntie Margaret, nobody is so dumb as to go on the road if they don't know or care where they are going. Right?" Good question, Mary.
In our walk through this life, we have a choice to make as to which road we follow: the wide road, which leads to destruction but offers so many pleasures along the way, or the narrow road, which leads to eternal life but requires a sacrificial walk. At the junction of these two roads there is also One, ready to guide. But we need to make the decision, first of all, as to where we desire to go. Our God would answer the same as did the Cheshire cat: the road you take depends on where you wish to go.
Mary understood when I explained this, and it was refreshing to see how, in her innocence, she found it incredible to believe that there would be people who would consciously decide to take the broad road. She was equally concerned about those who have never heard that there are two roads through life.
As Mary and I followed Alice in her adventurous journey, the thought kept coming back to me that we have such a tremendous responsibility, not only in regard to our own lives and the decisions that affect us, but also our responsibility in regard to children. We need to touch those within our own families and our church families, and also those outside the doors of the church, for God loves them all.
Prayer: Loving God, we thank you for Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life. We pray for strength of faith to make right choices for ourselves, becoming guideposts for others, always pointing them to the more excellent way, the way of love. Amen.