Christians must keep focused to enter the narrow gate of life

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September 7, 2010
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Many automobile accidents are caused by people who are distracted by something else they are doing. They may be talking on a cell phone, eating, grooming or adjusting the radio.

For that one moment, they take their attention off the narrow road that leads to their destination and end up in a ditch, a bayou, or hitting another vehicle or object.

Two thousand years ago Jesus told us, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and many take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and few find it.” (Mathew 7:13-14)

Jesus was telling us, “We must be focused; we must have goals so we will know where we are going. We must work hard at not losing sight of our goals so that we will reach our destination.”

Denis Waitley reminds us, “A person without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.” I am sure that we all know people who are going nowhere in life. Because they have no purpose or direction, they often turn to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling or other additions to ease the “pain of their confusion.”

To obtain our goals, we have to be properly motivated. And that must come from within.

Again, Waitley says, “Motivation is a contraction of motive and action. It comes from within, not from any external circumstance.

“You know where you’re going because you have a compelling image inside, not a travel poster on the wall, a financial statement with a big bonus, or a slogan in the hall. The performance of many externally motivated individuals begins declining when they win contests of one sort or another. I’ve personally witnessed this among Super Bowl champions and World Cup teams that lost the incentive to maintain their excellence after winning the honors.

“Studies of achievers show that inner drives for excellence and independence are far more powerful than desire for wealth, status or recognition,” he concluded.

Unfortunately, many people go after wealth, status or recognition. They lose sight of their ultimate goal in life and never become the people that God intends them to be.

Og Mandino echoes the same sentiment: “Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.”

Likewise, Ralph Marston applies goal setting to everyday situations. He says, “Whatever way this day is going, you can make it better. You have the power, the ability and the opportunity to do so. If you find yourself in a very useful situation, you can make it even better. When you encounter a difficult and troubling situation, you can make that better as well. Accept the reality of what is. Then get busy making your own unique positive contribution using whatever you have with which to work. Look at the events and circumstances of life not as things to fight against or to attempt to grab. See them as opportunities to build and grow.

“Be truly thankful for whatever comes your way. For within all of it, there is room for you to add as much real, meaningful value as you wish. See the possibilities in every moment, and find ways to give your best to life. Always, you can make it better, and by continuing to do so, you make it great,” Marston said.

Keep focused and you will enter Jesus’ narrow gate.