Mapping it Out
…But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Mt. 7:14)
I pulled the following quote from a previous bulletin article. Some of you will recall that it’s from the song “Once in a Lifetime” by the band Talking Heads.
“And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself-Well...How did I get here?”
I love that refrain: “And you may find yourself…” It’s such a wonderful description of the way life goes for most of us. Most of us have had this experience a number of times where we say, “I never thought I’d be here.” You can decide for yourself what your “here”is.
And it’s not always a bad thing. I never dreamed I’d be living in Virginia with my 3 kids and “with a beautiful wife.” But how wonderful that I did! All I can say to that is, “Thanks be to God.”
But there’s a danger there, too, isn’t there? Our life can lead to unexpected blessing, but it can also lead to us making some pretty bad decisions. Perhaps it’s happened to you, perhaps it’s happened to someone you know. You hear that they’ve made a mess of things: their marriage, their job, their relationships with others. And you say to yourself, “I never dreamed that he’d do that.”
The chorus of the song has an explanation of how we get to that point:
Letting the days go by/letting the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.
If I understand it right, I think he’s saying that the way we “get here” is by drifting along with the flow. We don’t so much swim as float. Water can be powerful that way. It can sweep us along. Especially if, instead of paddling, we’re in a dead man’s float. Best I can figure it: we can’t exactly control the flow of our lives, but we can do our best to swim in a direction as it carries us along.
This morning we’re going to look at a passage that warns us to pay attention to where it is we’re heading. It warns us to resist the urge to just go along with the flow. Jesus is telling us to choose our path carefully. I hope that today you’ll take a moment and take stock of where you’re headed. It’s never too late to make a change in direction.