ROCKWALL, TX (May 5, 2023) If there’s anything that symbolizes a new adventure, it’s a door. Suspense movies often include them. Amusement parks feature them in a range of shapes, sizes, and colors to fit a particular theme.
Photographers and antique buyers like old doors. Homeowners prefer new ones. They will replace their original, builder-installed front door to fit their style—from grand to minimalistic.
We are also intrigued by the intangible doors, and most of us appreciate the one that’s open. Unless we’re a confirmed hermit, we like to be invited, welcomed, chosen. This open door could be an opportunity or prospect such as a college acceptance, or a new relationship that fills a void. It might be another job to replace a lost or unpleasant one.
However, when opportunity knocks, we will face a challenge if more than one door beckons us. Consider for example the job search that yields two good offers. While both appeal to us, each will take us in a different direction. Knowing our future is at stake, we may lose sleep as we consider which one to choose.
In the late ‘80s film, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, the hero is faced with a life-or-death choice. From among a large selection of ancient drinking goblets before him, Jones must select the chalice that Jesus supposedly drank from. He watches as his companion grabs an ornate cup such as a king might have used, drinks from it, and quickly dies. The observant hero pauses to consider the humility of Christ, selects the simplest cup, and (of course) lives to embark on further adventures.
Jesus uses simple wording to invite us into the kingdom of Heaven, saying, “I am the door of the sheep. … If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:7, 9*); “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
Our conundrum in accepting this invitation comes as we consider some of his other words, such as, “Do not love the world or the things in the world” (1 John 2:15). While we truly desire the eternal kingdom Jesus offers, we may struggle against the beguiling refrains of the here-and-now: Follow your heart! Live your own truth!
Many sincere folks will tell us the kingdom of God is already ours via other means—sacred tradition, personal goodness, zeal for God, or through revering a certain religious icon. However, any of these supposed ladders to Heaven negate the exclusive claim of Jesus, who said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
There are dearer reasons that make us pause at the door Jesus has placed before us. Friends and family members we love may resent or even ridicule our desire to follow Christ. Embracing the gospel means turning away from the pleasant-looking, popular path. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction” (Matthew 7:13).
Entering the narrow gate requires that we humble ourselves through repenting of our sins and believing in Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). This choice will mark the culmination of our futile search for meaning and bring us to “the new and living way that he opened for us” (Hebrews 10:20).
Eternal life is the one great adventure that no one should miss.
*Scriptures from the English Standard Version
By Patti Richter. Patti writes and edits Christian faith articles and has co-authored Signs of His Presence: Experiencing God’s Comfort in Times of Suffering (March 2019). Read more of her essays at blueribbonnews.com/category/faith.