There is a road I have traveled for over 20 years. I have a love/hate relationship with this road.
This road is beautiful because it gives you the chance to get off the busy highway and take the least congested route to certain locations.
This road travels you through a beautiful neighborhood with equally beautiful houses.
This road is wide, allowing traffic to flow freely through the area. The width of the road could possibly accommodate two lanes of traffic on each side of the yellow middle line going down its center. Even though the road may be big enough for these extra lanes of traffic on either side, signs are posted all along the road saying, “Drive In Single Lane.”
On this free-flowing, 30 mph road, it is hard for some drivers to adhere to that sign. Sometimes the drive can be a bit contentious when a driver decides to ride your tail to encourage you to move faster (even if you’re already over the limit). And when that urging fails or the impatience of the other driver runs thin, they scootch around the other driver because the single-lane life is not for them.
Recently, I had an opportunity to travel this road that I don’t get the chance to frequent that often anymore and I noticed a big change. Now, there are new lines painted along the road. And in case you’re wondering, they were not lines that turned each side into two lanes. Rather, there were more yellow lines that narrowed the way of travel, letting you know in no uncertain terms: “Drive In Single Lane.” To further encourage adherence, middle partitions were put in the center of the road to block extra access.
Seeing these lines, I immediately thought to myself, “We need the lines.” On this road, those lines give clear direction and actually bring peace to what could have once been a contentious drive.
Sometimes I think we are trained to think open and free-flowing is always a good thing. It can be good with proper restraint and discipline. Alas, free-flowing for many gives the assumption that I can do what I want, when I want, and how I want.
But think on this, God’s Word is filled with instructions, commandments, statutes – lines, if you will, not to confine us, but to give us a life far greater. Jesus taught, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
You see, my friends, we need the lines. We need the instructions. We need the statutes and commandments. We need the road to be narrowed for our benefit so that we might gain a greater life.
“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” Isaiah 35:8
“Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke 13:23-24
“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” 1 Corinthians 9:25
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