Monday, June 20, 2016

The Road That Leads to Life

By Melanie Rigney

“For out of Jerusalem shall come a remnant, and from Mount Zion, survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.” (2 Kings 19:31)

Oh God, we ponder your mercy within your temple. (Psalm 48:10)

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

Savior, I adore You. I thank You for loving me and rescuing me from the long dark road. Give me the faith and courage and belief to follow you down that constricted road that leads to life.

So humor me. It’s my birthday, one of those big ones that ends in a zero and gets you savings at restaurants, grocery stores, theaters and more.

For me, almost every song ever written, especially pop and rock songs from the 1970s, are God songs. The lyricists and performers may not have realized this at the time, and might scoff even today at this contention. That’s a matter of indifference to me. As far as I’m concerned, they’re God songs.

As I prayed over the readings for today, I kept hearing (and, I’ll be honest, listening to) the Hollies’ 1971 hit “Long Dark Road.” The tangible inspiration I suspect was the end of a romance, but, well, to me, it’s a song about getting off the broad road. The lyrics in part:

You tell me, try sell me
It could have been all I asked
It’s over, well over
It’s there and flows away
A distant past

Now it’s a long dark road
Yes a long dark road
And you know, I loved you
Yes you know, I loved you

We’ve likely all had romances and friendships and other sorts of tangible and
By John W. Barber [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
intangible relationships that took us down broad roads of fun and pleasure and entertainment… but ultimately turned dark. Or maybe the road took us down a self-satisfying journey of pity and self-loathing and hatred.

Like the broad road, the narrow road has its challenges. The narrow road can be long, excruciatingly long at times, and it can be dark for even the most faithful among us, including the likes of Teresa of Avila. Amid one trial, in particular, she told the Lord that if in fact this was the way He treated His friends, it was no wonder he had so few. It can be tempting to take a little detour and rejoin all that fun and excitement on the broad road. But spiritual detours are seldom what they seem to be in the moment.

Neither road, the broad nor the narrow, is always easy to travel. Which you choose all depends on your ultimate destination. Choose love. Choose the Lord.

Consider a favorite song from today or your glory days. Where does God figure in? Sing it loud!

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