…the narrow gate

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Luke 13:24

I came to Jesus and He answered. He beckoned me and I answered after many years of deafness. I became a follower and a believer in Jesus eleven years ago when I was in seeking a power higher than myself. I loathed the ‘born-again’ paradigm; I sought a beautiful and personal, wisdom-filled relationship with something greater than myself. My ‘self’ was reaching it’s end.

As I sought a god, I tried to intersect my life with Eastern philosophy but the personal aspect was absent. I was drawn to but never could get drawn in. I wrestled for a solution and the solution was fleeting. The attempt at finding God was frustrating to the point that I begged in prayer just to believe in something. Prayer to whom and what something?

In my marriage, and therefore my life, the Lord had a plan for me. My wife and I were not Christian, however, we made attempts at spirituality courting Catholicism and some Buddhism. She came home one Sunday night after a weekend visit with a friend. She announced that she had given her life to Christ. The pronouncement was infuriating to me. She suggested we start spending our Sunday mornings at a local church – an idea I agreed to try because although I carried abhorrence for Jesus, I still sought the wisdom and personality of a god. We attended a church that taught the Bible in an induction format and the day we first attended, the pastor’s sermon began: “In the beginning…” I wondered if this was coincidence. I patiently listened through eight months of Old Testament teaching. I particularly was interested when Jacob wrestled with God and God disjointed a stubborn man at his hip. I related this story to my agonizing relationship with alcohol and I knew I was too a stubborn man. One day on an off-ramp, while listening to a sermon tape of one the Apostle’s gospel, I succumbed. Jesus spoke to me and said that the greatest of all commandments was love. Love was a prerogative I could embrace. Jesus was a person I could embrace and I believed He was God and Man. God surfaced in my consciousness. I had found wisdom and personality in God.

Since, I have seen how God works in my life each day. Not always in big ways, but subtly always imparting His wisdom and love to me daily. I studied the Bible and I now seek to see the image of God (James 1:24) as I look into the mirror. I see now just how narrow the gate is. I am so blessed that I persevered in my walk through despondency to reach and pass through the gate to God. So many will not.

Rick Stassi

October 2011

3 thoughts on “…the narrow gate

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