Needles Highway, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is an amazing engineering marvel, as well as a fun and very scenic road on which to travel. The journey is as rewarding as any destination you may have in mind, as you traverse the very narrow roadway, pressed in by these rocks shaped like needles. Especially challenging are the tunnels. You have to take turns and make sure that no one in the other lane decides to enter at the same time you do. It’s a narrow and sometimes difficult road, but it’s worth the journey.
“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14.
Jesus speaks of another narrow way, and the original language used in this verse actually means “pressed” or “hemmed in between walls or rocks, like the pathway in a mountain gorge.” The Needles Highway is an accurate word picture of what Jesus is describing here.
Because the gate of this way Jesus is referring to is small and the road is narrow, the entire passage is as difficult as the entry. Therefore, few people find it.
It’s easier to go on the broad road. There’s lots of company, and you’re swimming downstream. It’s the natural thing to do. But it leads to destruction.
On the other hand, the narrow road, though it be difficult and often lonely to traverse and though it may require its travelers to deny themselves, leads to life.
Giving your life to Jesus is a lifelong decision, and I’m afraid we sometimes oversimplify the Christian walk. It’s a life of yielding, submitting, and self-denial. Not that we ever arrive, but we continue by His strength, to ever be more like Christ.
But the joy of this journey is unspeakable. It’s a deep down joy that doesn’t go away even in the most difficult of seasons. There’s the constant companionship of Jesus that never leaves, even if everyone else does. I have found that the road that leads to life is worth taking.