My earliest memory of getting in line was lunchtime at Rand Road Elementary School. There was a line leader, a caboose, and everyone else in between. We all took turns in different positions of the lunch line, but the line leader got their lunch first, and the caboose got theirs last. Don’t forget what happened if someone talked while walking down the hallway…everyone had to turn around and go back to class where the whole lineup process started over again. As someone who is just as hungry in 2020 as I was in 2000, I never understood why going to lunch had to be so complicated! One of my favorite NC State basketball players (Julius Hodge) said it best, “When we hungry, we eat!” Looking back, I did always get my lunch regardless of how long it took, but I’ll always remember turning that last corner into the cafeteria, smelling the food, and saying to myself, “Mama, we made it!”
Many exciting events require waiting with great anticipation. Christmas, graduations, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and movie premiers are just a few examples. The harder it is to do something, or the longer we have to wait, usually the more anticipation we have about it. It’s almost as if there’s an imaginary gate that’s closed in our minds until one day, the gate opens and we are allowed inside for the experience. So it is in our Christian journey…and the gatekeeper is Jesus.
John 10:9 says, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” John 16:33 Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Being a faithful follower of Christ in this world is hard, but it’s something Jesus dealt with too. Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Jesus doesn’t promise that everyone goes to heaven (or gets lunch), but He does tell us how to get there. We should take our earthly struggles in stride so we can walk through the narrow gate and say: “Jesus, we made it!”