The Wide & Narrow of It

I have been attempting to fast from negativity. It has been hard, since I tend toward glass-is-half-empty mentality.

Even though I have not been successful in keeping my mouth shut (still praying for wisdom and not giving up yet!), I have been more aware of how negative my thoughts and words have been. It's not pretty.

A typical day might include my verbal and non-verbal cues showing my annoyance with:

  • the weather (not enough sunshine),
  • the stock in my pantry (what I want to eat is all gone),
  • the feel in my bones (old and creaky),
  • the general schedule of things in my house (kids dragging feet to do school, mountains of laundry to do), etc.

And that's before I even leave the house! When you add in my grumbling about always being late, my sighing about slow drivers being in front of me when I'm late, and my wailing about forgetting something at home--that's a whole lot of negative going on.

It occurred to me last night how it's easy -- natural, maybe? -- to be negative. Conversely, it's hard to be positive. It takes effort and determination to see the light in the midst of darkness, to speak life instead of death over situations and people.

I thought of the verse that tells how many will not make it to heaven with the Lord because they way is hard, and it takes work:

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it, (Matthew 7:13-14 NASB).

 When I spend time constantly being annoyed, I'm really giving the devil praise. "But the God in whose hand [is my] life-breath and all [my] ways, [I] have not glorified" (Daniel 5:23).

Wide paths are easy to stumble upon. Narrow ones take some searching for. Maybe this is what is really means to "work" out your salvation-- to do the hard work of finding and glorifying God for the good, the praiseworthy in every situation -- searching for that narrow path and choosing to take it, instead of the wide and easy way of grumbling and complaining.