The Narrow Gate

Matthew 7:13-14 New International Version (NIV)                                                                                                                           13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  (Quotation from Jesus Christ.)

My college experience proved different from just about everyone I’ve ever known.  I entered a demanding 5-year program that required one to be in the top 2% of high school graduates in the country to qualify for it.  As I recall, 454 students enrolled.  On our first day of orientation, the dean instructed us to look to the people directly in front, back, left, and right of us.  He informed us that within a year only one of us would still be in the program.  He didn’t lie.  The demands upon us required a weekly commitment of 112 hours, so we had 56 hours remaining every week to sleep, eat, do laundry, shower, enjoy ourselves (what’s that?), etc.  The attrition continued for the remaining years as more people flunked out, dropped out, changed majors or transferred to another university.  After completing dozens of difficult courses, researching a thesis and passing the final oral exam, this original class yielded a grand total of 14 graduates for a 3% graduation rate.  Nothing like it exists in engineering colleges today.  The experience has provided a lifetime of benefits.   

I think about this as being akin to Jesus’s teaching about the narrow and wide gates.  The narrow road isn’t easy.  It’s rough, tough, and hard to stay focused.  Many obstacles disguised as temptations abound to discourage and redirect you away from it.  The far easier path would be to avoid the challenges of pursuing righteousness and take the wide road to the wide gate.  However, in pursuit of excellence and one’s eternal reward, aim forward and upward to be judged worthy of passing through the narrow gate.  

Which path are you on today?  

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