The image came strong as I prayed to release the stress of the day. And it surprised me. I walked along a tightrope, then fell. And in the falling, I found relief and freedom from the narrow version of life I walked. So tightly bound together was my perspective, there left no room for joy, no room for relaxation, and certainly no room to enjoy the life happening around me.
The prison of tightrope Christianity can be the most dangerous of them all. The Pharisees, classically confronted by Jesus for their commitment to man-made rules, lived as masters of the tightrope. So narrow was the way, one had to focus solely on the tightrope–and miss the experience around them.
“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 (NKJV)
Jesus shares with us that narrow is His way. He encourages us to enter through the narrow gate. Narrow, yes. Tightrope…well? When is the last time you saw a gate on a tightrope?
A comical image, certainly. However, Jesus also calls us to come together, to build one another up, and to work together as one body. None of those things is possible if we are all so delicately balanced that the slightest breath out of place plummets us off the way.
Reframe your vision of what the narrow gate looks like. Seek Jesus and the freedom He offers. You will find the narrow way offers far more room for walking than you might imagine. You may just find a fellowship you never dreamt possible.
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” –Philippians 2:1-4 (NKJV)
Imagine if we tightrope walkers raised our eyes and saw each other. The smile, even giggle that might emerge as we all take a step off the imaginary tightrope may be exactly what we need to feel that sweet fellowship our souls desire.
Photo by Kristin Smith