by E. M. Gregory
“I don’t feel well.” I whimpered to my mom.
My mom brushed the back of her hand against my forehead. “You do have a slight fever, but it’s probably just a cold. You should go.”
“Elena, this is too important. One day, you might look back and regret not going.”
I sighed, knowing that she was right.
A month before, I had accepted an invitation to attend the All-Michigan Academic Team awards’ banquet in Lansing, Michigan. With my severe head cold, or flu, just beginning, I was not feeling up for a six-hour trip, much less a weekend away.
My heart wrestled with her counsel, but I conceded. Besides, I knew that if I didn’t start packing, my mom would do it for me.
Growing up, I sometimes thought my parents were cruel. They made me do hard things. Illness was not an excuse for not keeping commitments like not going to school or work. Excuses were a waste of breath. Those days, I often wished to be an adult. Able to change my mind. Make my own decisions. Then, I wouldn’t have to do so many “hard” things.
I laugh thinking about this. How foolish I was. Little did I know, that as an adult, I would have to make decisions to do hard things on a regular basis.
Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV) says “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Even though Jesus was talking of ultimate, eternal matters, these principles can be applied to everyday living.
Do you notice the contrasts in this scripture? Narrow versus wide. Hard verses easy. Life versus destruction. Few verses Many. In this dichotomy, easy doesn’t equal life.
If you have been fortunate enough to reach adulthood, then you have learned, many times over, these scriptural truths.
For instance, we all know that not going to work every time we are not feeling well, would equal not earning a paycheck, and possibly losing our jobs. Not cleaning our houses would equal chaos and possible bug infestations. And the list goes on. Often, choosing the easy route in the immediate equates to negative outcomes later.
Even though I felt brutally ill, I survived the weekend in Lansing. I returned home with my award and a copy of a photo taken during the event. Whenever I look at this photo, I am reminded of my sense of accomplishment, not for the award that I was given, but for keeping my commitment despite being ill.
I can’t say, in this instance, that had I made the decision to stay home that weekend, that complete destruction would have been the result. I know, though, that I would have disappointed others, my character could have been in question by canceling short notice, and I would have regretted not going.
My wish to be an adult has come true. However, instead of struggling with my mother’s constant counsel, I now struggle with making God honoring decisions.
Striving to live a Christian life, means we must decide daily whether we will choose the easy path that leads to destruction or the hard path that leads to wholeness in Him. When we live with heaven in mind, our choices should become easier, even if the road is hard.