This morning at the gym, I found myself on the elliptical machine with two television options in front of me. To my left was evangelist Creflo Dollar telling his congregation that they could escape the prison of sin by being born again. To my right was supermodel Cindy Crawford telling viewers that for $39.95 a month they could use her miraculous skin care products to look years younger.
And it struck me that offers of salvation abound. Particularly during the holiday season.
A diamond ring can save your marriage. A new video game system can save your relationship with your children. A perfect holiday meal can save a tense family get-together. The perfect party can save your social standing. The right diet plan can save your figure—throw in the perfect little black dress and you’ve saved your self-worth. Credit cards offer their own version of salvation.
“Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction.” (Matthew 7:13)
That’s not a verse I generally like to quote, but it makes sense to me right now. Wide and broad. Offers of salvation to the left and right.
The irony is that this broad road offers very narrow visions. Narrow visions of what it means to be a Christian. Narrow visions of what it means to be a woman. Narrow visions of what it means to be a family. Narrow visions of what it means to be successful. The road is broad, but no one seems to notice. We have a tendency to try to stay on a very narrow path, no matter how wide the road.
I think I’d rather be on Jesus’ narrow road and have the run of the place. Take in all the scenery. Wander in and out of my own lane. Lift my face and gaze and gaze and gaze all the way to the horizon.
That’s the path I seek–the salvation I want to experience. And I don’t think Creflo Dollar or Cindy Crawford can help me find it. But there is a baby that we celebrate, wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger . . . and he’s coming . . . soon.