Friday, July 27, 2018

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 71: The Trail of Life





Key Text

“Enter in by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter in by it.14 How[a] narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 (WEB)


Lesson


Nearly everyone enjoys a nice hike along a trail. It is a refreshing experience to walk close to nature and see and wander among the beauty. It is nice to get away from the frustration of traffic and the confines of walls and every day worries. Whether your hike is short or long it is likely to be memorable. On the trail, things tend to be simple. There is only one task, keep going along the predetermined route.

Hiking is not always easy. The trail may be uneven or filled with trip hazards like roots. It may be blocked by fallen trees, obscured by leaves or snow or poorly marked and difficult to follow. Your travel may be impeded by other creatures, slowed by sore feet, or completely halted by poor weather. It is not all rainbows and sunshine. If you have ever walked face first into a spider web or stepped in animal droppings than you know this well.

It is a mixed experience. You are likely to see scenes of wonder and beauty and even more likely to experience frustration. You may be fortunate to have a map showing the way, but it is likely to leave out some details. The trail may have easy sections that are straight and down hill. But there may be rocks that trip you.

The trail is a great example for our lives. Life is not a straight road but a trail that bends and turns when you least expect it. It is the narrow way Jesus spoke of that so accurately portrays a life dedicated to following God. As it says in the key text, the road to eternal death is easy and paved but goes nowhere. The narrow way is much more difficult but leads to eternal life! The Bible, like many maps, may leave out some details you wish were there. But we can rejoice that we have a trail to follow, however narrow or difficult. Thankfully, Jesus has gone ahead and trampled the thorns and moved the large boulders. He has cleared the trail for us and left a map in the Bible. No longer are we wondering in the pathless wilderness, we only have to keep going long the predetermined route.

Questions

What is a memorable trail you have hiked?
Why did Jesus say the way to destruction is broad?
What can we do when we are surprised by a turn in our life?
What can we do when the Bible seems not to tell us which way to turn?

Written by David F. Garner
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