Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 30:11,14-16, Matthew 7:13-14
What I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.
No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.
For I command you today to love the Lord your God,
to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws;
then you will live and increase,
and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
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.
Travelling to visit our daughter and family on the east coast of Norfolk used to take us three and a half hours from Sheffield. Now from Walgrave, and since the roadworks were completed during the first lockdown, it takes us just over two hours along the straight and wide roads of the A14 and A11. Unless of course there is a hold up due to an accident or a breakdown. Then Satnav and the lanes of Cambridgeshire and Norfolk come into their own.
Even in life it is not always good to take the road that everyone else is taking; choosing the scenic route may not just reward you with better views, it can also be a more direct way of getting to your destination.
Life is full of choices, and these choices have consequences. Some of these consequences might be quite incidental; saving five minutes over a two-hour journey is not a great deal. Other choices we make might mean we don’t reach our destination at all, as Helen found out once, stuck on the A1 for seven hours and never getting to a conference in Durham where she was supposed to be speaking.
The Christian life is often likened to a journey, and the path God wants us to walk is not always the most popular or the most obvious, but it is a path that will keep us safe and a path that, as Jesus said, leads to life. Moses, writing in the book of Deuteronomy, reminds us of the choices we make in life, encouraging us to love the Lord our God and to walk in his ways. This he says will lead to life and will lead to blessing.
In many of the choices we make in life I think we know what the right answer is, it is a matter of conscience. As Moses says, ‘The word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart.’ At other times we need to seek wisdom from the bible and from the Holy Spirit.
Whether the choices we make are big or small, they can all have significant consequences. Let us choose to walk in God's ways. They may not be the most obvious or the most popular but they will avoid accidents and breakdowns, and they will lead to God’s blessing.
Lord Jesus, in all the decisions and choices I make in life, give me the grace, the wisdom and the humility to follow you and to walk in your ways.
Guide me O thou great redeemer.