When I was 17 I went through the birth canal! No I'm not referring to being “born again,” but rather to a cave in Northwest Arkansas! I was caving with a group of girls at summer camp and there was one section of the cave that was so tight it was literally referred to as the “birth canal.” As we slithered through this section on our bellies we had to turn our heads sideways because, with a helmet on, our heads wouldn't fit looking straight ahead. We had to trust the person ahead of us and follow the light. It was a dirty dark cave, but it was an amazing experience. We slowly made our way through the birth canal. I was in the middle of the group, and I remember as I crawled closer to the end I heard what sounded like the voices of angels! The birth canal opened up to a small “room” where all the girls were gathered singing praise songs. It was a sweet sound as I slithered through the mud and mire to hear praise songs as I approached the end. There on my belly in a cave, I knew the end was close and I could make it.
This week at church our pastor spoke on the following verses:
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Mt 7:13-14
He described this gate as not just being narrow, but being so narrow that you have to throw off anything you are carrying with you and conform yourself to the shape of the gate to pass through. As he described this narrow gate, I couldn't help but flash back to my teen years when I was literally conforming my body to the shape of the birth canal slithering though this cave. As I thought about how this relates to my walk, I had to take some time to evaluate what I am carrying with me through this life. Is there anything that I need to throw off so that I can fit through this narrow gate? I also had to ask myself if I look like Jesus. Am I daily allowing God to conform me more into the image of Jesus? And as I think about the day that I will pass through the gates of heaven I think about the girls singing in that small opening in the cave. I think about how we will be ushered into heaven with the voices of angels and other believers singing praises to our God! What a wonderful day!