In my town there are two supermarkets.
One is right in the centre of the town, well signposted and easy to find. There is a huge, free car park right next to it. When you get inside, all the aisles are very wide, and it’s not difficult to find what you want. There’s pop music playing through the speakers, and some friendly staff positioned around the shop to help you. All the signage is bright and clear, and the packaging is eyecatching and exciting.
The other supermarket is tucked away from the centre of town, and has no external sign at all. You have to really know it’s there to find it. The car park isn’t right alongside, and one you get through the door it’s very narrow and not as bright or colourful as the other place. There’s no music, and fewer staff around. But those who go to this supermarket know that the quality of the food is amazing – the best meat you’ve ever tasted (and you know exactly which animal it’s come from too).
The price of the food at both places is the same, even though the quality is far better at the second. But the strange thing is, almost everyone in the town goes to the first supermarket. The second is always very empty indeed.
Jesus told a parable a bit like this (although he didn’t mention supermarkets!). He said: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7v12-14).
The Bible teaches us about the narrow way (or the second supermarket). It’s not easy and convenient, but the ultimate reward is far better. Or do we like to follow the crowd instead, and go for what’s easy, convenient, and shallow? We make the choice!