“Strive to enter through the narrow gate.” – Luke 13:24

Sometimes the Promised Land seems a lot like Best Buy on Black Friday: Just getting in the door is gonna be a struggle. After all, we’re told that the way is far from capacious — it is a “narrow gate” that can only be entered by striving. And striving requires a lot more than waiting patiently in line. To strive entails working at something, working hard. It demands focus and unwavering will. It sounds tiring.

And yet we are blessed. Our God asks us not to give up, when giving up seems the most human thing to do. And God does not leave us to struggle on our own. Our salvation has already been won, not by anything we have done, but by Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. Christ died for us, and in doing so, provided the lifeboat we so desperately need to rise above the flood of evil and darkness. All we have to do, essentially, is not let go of it.

This may necessitate some striving.

My fingers, pickled, pink,
slip, grow lax, open on air.
I lose my grasp on You
over and over again.
My hand longs to close
over sparkly things
that catch my eye, toys,
distractions. I reach, waver.
Gently, you retrieve me.
Lead me back, O Lord.
Winnow my wants
that I might make
the narrow gate.

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