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  • Writer's pictureHelen Bent

The Narrow Road (14-07-22)

Bible Readings:

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.

(Isaiah 35. 8)

“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)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14. 6)

A Thought Recently I have been travelling backwards and forwards to our daughter’s to child-mind the twins for a few days each week. At present, the journey is taking longer due to a substantial set of roadworks on the A11 at Attleborough.

The workmen are busy re-surfacing the dual carriageway, but this is no ‘quick fix’ patch up. This is a real proper job! They have literally dug up a long stretch of the Norwich bound carriageway. Now they are putting in new hardcore before they add a new surface and a final layer of fresh tarmac. According to the notices along the route, expect delays for a while. The work will likely take until December 2023!

Consequently, the traffic is now sharing the Thetford bound carriageway separated out with sturdy crash barriers on either side of the narrow single lane. Although there is a forty mile an hour limit, this narrow way is a bit unnerving and requires a considerable amount of concentration. The narrow lane lasts for over five miles, but it feels much further than that. I am also aware that if anyone breaks down, we will all be well and truly stuck until they are rescued!

The Bible has quite a bit to say about narrow paths, even though they require more time and effort. The wide road looks infinitely more attractive and easier. We can pop on the cruise control, relax and travel fast. However, we are warned that this broad road can lead to destruction.

The narrow road also requires me to be patient and self-controlled, two qualities listed as fruit of the Holy Spirit, (see Galatians 5. 22 - 23). According to the Bible, the narrow way is a way of holiness, requiring that I not only follow Jesus, who describes himself as the Way, but I allow the Spirit to transform me into his likeness as I walk along it. Not just growing in patience and self-control, but also demonstrating other qualities in equal measure - love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness – all fruit of the Spirit displayed in the life of Jesus.

I was also reminded of a famous American poem, which describes the traveller taking ‘the road less travelled’. As Christians, let us choose the narrow way, the road travelled by the few rather than the many, for that will make all the difference and bring us life.

A Prayer Lord Jesus, you are the Way, the Truth and the Life. May we follow you along the narrow Way of Holiness, which leads to life where gladness and joy abound and sorrow and sighing are no more. Amen.

‘The Road Not Taken’ by American poet, Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim Because it was grassy and wanted wear, Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

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