Looking for the easy way out seems to be human nature. Why plan healthy, balanced meals and exercise when we can go on a fad diet or take some “miracle” supplement to lose weight? Why create a budget (and live by it) when we have that awesome credit card with six months free interest? Why find creative activities to do with our kids when we can hand them an electronic device and continue with our day?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve chosen the easy way out many times.
Often we also take the easy way out with Jesus. We’re happy to have him leading us, until He asks us to do something uncomfortable or difficult. The pastor of my church gave an illustration of this last Sunday. In his illustration, he held a toy car and a miniature figurine to represent Jesus. He showed how when we first get saved, we are excited to let Jesus in the car, and we have him sit by us in the front seat. But then Jesus starts giving us directions, and we don’t listen. We don’t really want him telling us all these things to do, so we put Him in the backseat, where it’s not as easy for Him to interrupt us. Jesus, however, is a backseat driver when needed and He keeps telling us where to turn and when to stop. That’s not convenient, so we put him in the trunk. In the confinement of the trunk, Jesus’ voice won’t be heard over the sound of the engine as we go merrily on our way. Of course, as soon as we get in trouble and need a bit of assistance, we pull over and get Him out again, at least for a time.
We are warned against the easy path in the popular Bible verse:
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
It’s not easy to go through the narrow gate. Sometimes every fiber of our being screams against it. The world assures us it’s not the way to go.
I believe which path we take is a decision we make every single day when we get up in the morning. Will I do the right thing today, or the easy thing? Will I make choices that create a better future, or the ones that make today more comfortable? Sometimes we are fortunate and the right thing happens to be easy, but most of the time it’s the difficult path that leads to life—real, meaningful, fulfilling life.
When we let Jesus not only in the front seat, but behind the wheel (cue Carrie Underwood’s song) then we will know that even though the road may be full of potholes, the scenery occasionally stark, and the rain on the windshield blinding us, we’re going to end up where we are supposed to be.
Safe in the arms of Jesus.