In his classic book Pilgrims Progress Mr. Bunyun describes the journey of Christian Hopeful, and Ignorance to the Celestial City.
On the way, Christian and Hopeful meet a lad named Ignorance, who believes that he will be allowed into the Celestial City through his own good deeds rather than as a gift of God’s grace. Christian and Hopeful meet up with him twice and try to persuade him to journey to the Celestial City in the right way. Ignorance persists in his own way that he thinks will lead him into Heaven. After getting over the River of Death on the ferry boat of Vain Hope without overcoming the hazards of wading across it, Ignorance appears before the gates of Celestial City without a passport, which he would have acquired had he gone into the King’s Highway through the Wicket Gate.
Had he gone through the wicket gate…
CEO’s, professional athletes, celebrities, those who achieve the pinnacles of success despite their fame, money, power come crashing down. In their crucial wicket gate moments they chose a different path. The wrong path. And all of their success, achievements are empty. Keith Green wrote these words many years ago,
“Like a foolish dreamer, building highways to the sky, All my hopes would come crumbling down and I never knew just why”.
And the same is true for all of us. We build our “highways” to the sky in relationships, careers, life choices, everyday decisions. We cut corners, bend the truth, take the path of least resistance, and in the end reap the consequences. And in these times God in His mercy leads us to our “wicket gate”, and the choice of which path to take.
Jesus said straight is the gate. Narrow is the way.
By definition there is only one gate that will not be identified by the ease in which we pass through it. We can bypass the gate, take the easy way, follow the crowd, along the path that is easy. It is important how we get there. If we are not careful we can like Ignorance get to our destination and find we missed it.
Entering the gate, following the path will not be easy. But when we get there it will be worth it.