Strive To Enter Through The Narrow Door


Strive To Enter Through The Narrow Door

In this Sunday’s gospel (Luke 13:22-30), we hear Jesus say, “Strive to enter through the narrow door.”

Doorways are my nemesis.

It seems trivial, but it’s true. Doorways were a legitimate hassle for me for years when I was a high school band teacher. On concert days there was always so much to do, and so much equipment to move. Stands, chairs, wind instruments, and all of the big percussion equipment, it all had to be moved out of the band room and to the theatre stage. And the most aggravating part of the process was the doors.

Carrying as much as humanly possible to reduce the number of trips back and forth, I’d inevitably reach the door and find it closed. Someone had inadvertently dislodged the doorstop or the student who was holding the door open had disappeared down the hall to help someone carry the bass drum. If it was a fire door, and I was on the right side of it, a well-aimed kick to the pushbar would open it, but more often than not, there was a doorknob, and I was on the side that opened in. I’d have to put a bunch of stuff down, reach around or over it to get the door open a crack, and then have to wedge my foot (or a trumpet case) in the way long enough that I could shuffle through. And I could never pick everything up that I had put down – something always got left behind.

The timpani (huge copper kettledrums) were by far the worst. Ensuring a door was open was the least of the problems. The drums were so big that it took two or three people to move them, and they never fit through the door easily. Never. No matter how quickly or efficiently we had been moving equipment, timpani always stalled us. We’d have to slow down, approach carefully, and sometimes even come to a complete stop while we figured out how to ease through the door, tilting things just so, turning things juuuuust enough, holding our breath and praying we could get through without denting (or dismantling) something.

In the end, the result was always worth it. You have to admit that it’s a pretty amazing thing when the people who have squeezed through those doors sit down with their individual instruments and individual talents and make music together.

When Jesus tells us that we need to enter the kingdom through the narrow door, in many ways we confront the same issues as a busy band teacher does. For starters, the door has to be open. Are our hearts open to the challenge of the gospel? Are we open to what awaits us on the other side of the door? Are we open to the struggle it might it take to get through it?

Entering through the narrow door also means putting stuff down. Do we need tomorrow’s worries? Yesterday’s regrets? Can we fit through if we don’t set down doubt or fear? What about selfishness, anger, greed, or resentment? How much are we carrying, and do we need it all?

And sometimes, entering through the narrow door means slowing down or even coming to a stop first. Do we slow down from our hectic pace to spend time in prayer, seeking a way forward? Do we use Sabbath days or find Sabbath moments to stop and examine our lives, our attitudes, our relationship with God? Do we take time to discern our next move so that we can get through the door?

As we ponder what it means to enter the Kingdom through the narrow door, may we take to heart Jesus’ advice to open the door, put unnecessary things down, and slow down. Getting through that door takes care and attention, but the music on the other side is always worth it.

By Darcie Lich
Vocation Team – Oblate Associate
(306) 220-0527