“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14, NIV)
I dislike journaling very much. In Christian circles, there is so much good that can come out of this exercise. Journaling gives us a structured time with the Holy Spirit, helping to establish an oft-ignored time for reflection on God’s Word. For those of us who will never attend seminary, certain types of journaling can function as informal mini biblical interpretations (hermeneutics), and a healthy approach to Scripture is imperative to following Christ’s commands and example. While this may not be an admission readily and openly acknowledged by others, I still dislike journaling.
For a good portion of my life I have been asked, encouraged, and pressured to journal and have effectively avoided the process. I have been a writer since age 11, but writing always entailed an audience, typically a teacher to please, so journaling seemed a pointless endeavor – one that left me editing my stream-of-consciousness flow to avoid a negative reader response and completely destroying the reflective and detached purpose of writing for oneself. Therefore, this blog is written with the reader in mind. I hope the topics I explore allow everyday Christians a space both to recognize the unity of the human experience and to gain and shape their own theological perspective on what it means to follow the narrow path in this world.
Yet it is not written with the pleasure of the reader in mind. Don’t get me wrong. I hope and pray that my ramblings about our shared journey allow you to think deeply, test knowledge with an open mind and heart, and discover ways you can effectively think and speak about God (theology) – for the sake of your own relationship with Him and for furthering the Kingdom (i.e., sharing the Gospel message). This is an exploration of my personal theology and the ways in which I have experienced that following Christ truly are transformative and lead to rightheartedness (orthopathy). Through exploring the ways I think about God, I hope to hone my gift as a writer for His pleasure and glory, alone. In other words, it should be a win-win-win situation.
One of the things you may have noticed by now is that I include really confusing, highfalutin words in my ramblings. If you couldn’t care less about the theological/scholarly term for a concept, please disregard. I like to include these words or phrases because I believe that exemplary discipleship includes a lifelong learning process, and there have been so many times in my life that pastors, elders, or teachers in the church have simply glossed over the intellectual aspects of spiritual development for fear the congregation/youth group/bible study would meet their academic challenge with dozing off or staring back at them in bewilderment. I love to be challenged, and so I include these in order to make the academic and the practical available to anyone who loves learning as much as I do.
Where was I? Oh yes, the glory of God.
Everything you do – everything – should be done to glorify and honor the One who has called you to salvation (spiritual life’s purpose). However, calling (practical life’s purpose) can be a sticky subject. There are those who throw around the word on a whim and, strangely, their calling changes frequently. Then, there are those who have grown weary of the first group’s overuse of “calling” and are quick to dismiss anyone who utters the phrase, “The Holy Spirit has led me to…” I believe those journeying on the narrow path reside somewhere in the middle, ready to test His calling (Romans 12:2) without criticizing the mysterious ways our God works in individual lives.
With all of that in mind, here I am: creating, offering perspective, sharing the Gospel, and challenging Christians in a world antagonistic to our cause. Here I am, following the Great I AM on the narrow path toward eternal life. Sometimes I stumble. Sometimes the temptation to take a detour is presented. Sometimes I am walking in the dark, guided only by His presence. Christ never promised the walk would be easy (John 16:33); He only promised He would walk with us.
Let’s walk together.