Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
During my early morning walks I cannot help but notice the amount of trash that is on the side of the road. My three-mile walk takes me through neighborhoods and along a major road mostly with sidewalks. Dotting the landscape are cups, wrappers, cigarette cartons, cans, bottles, paper in many forms and some items from an alien planet. It does not seem as obvious driving by in an automobile. Walking reveals the trash tucked within the grass or lying in the gutters along the roads. How does this trash wind up alongside the road? There could be a 1% chance some of this is by accident but the sad reality is the trash is left on the side of the road by people. I have witnessed drivers throw their trash out the windows of automobiles in a flippant uncaring act. The Oscar Madison mentality that pervades our society is a lack of respect for life and disrespect for themselves. But there is a deeper problem.
Life is not defined by trash on the side of the road but it becomes a tell. A man will go into the store and buy an Icee. When he finishes he throws the plastic cup out the window. Finishing a quick family lunch from McDonalds the driver gathers all the trash and drops it on the road as they wait for the light to change. Cigarettes are flipped out the window by the thousands along with wrappers of every description. Companies spend millions every year cleaning up the trash we leave behind. The deeper problem is the selfish nature of man. He cares for no one but himself. Life is about his needs and his needs alone. No one can tell him what to do and how to do it. He is his own master, his own god serving to his end alone. Man worships man.
Jesus told the multitudes in His sermon on the mountain that most people will take the broad and easy way of life. This popular way is about man serving himself and finding no barriers to what he can do and no consequences to what he has done. Life is care-free and easy. Without the restrictions of a higher law, life becomes a fun filled frolic experience of seeing who can go the fastest and have the most pleasure. Casting life out the window there is no responsibility. What they fail to realize is the trash must be picked up one day. There is a day of reckoning. Sadly most people do not believe there is a day coming when an accounting is required.
Most people will spend eternity in Hell because they spent their lives ‘throwing trash out the window’ … in other words (not in a literal sense) they lived for the moment. Life is not about the moment but about the eternity. Only few will find joy in death. The narrow way is difficult now but it will bring the blessings of life in death for those who pursue it. Don’t throw your life away seeking the things of this world.
Pleasures are but shadows, which hold no longer than the sunshine of my fortunes. (Arthur Warwick, Spare Minutes, 1637)