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One size fits all

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

– Matthew 7:13-14

I read an enlightening article posted by a friend on Facebook. It had to do with what was shared at a national convention for baseball coaches. One of the main speakers was a retired major league coach who appeared on stage with a “home plate” attached to a chain hanging over his chest. When he asked how many Little League coaches were in the room many hands went up. He asked, “Does anyone know how wide home plate is in little league?” The correct answer of 17 inches was given. The coach asked the same of high school and college coaches. Again, the correct answer of 17 inches was given. How wide is the plate for the minor and major leagues? The plate remains at 17 inches.

A pitcher does not make it to the big league unless he successfully and consistently can throw the ball over these 17 inches. From the least to most experienced, the size of home plate is the same. No exceptions made.

We once again see the wide road to destruction when a young adult leaves the house and enters a school killing persons at random because his life is unsettled and unhappy. Great is the power of evil over individuals when the gate chosen is the wide and easy that demands no accountability. The easier entry will always be the preferred choice; yet, it does not lead to a peaceful end. Entering by the narrow door is simply accepting the size of home plate rather than expecting it to be wider so that more pitchers can feel successful.

As a society we have given up the rod and have spoiled the child. We have rid ourselves of instruments of correction because they were not used responsibly. We gave up on school prayer having allowed public prayer to become political, hurtful and a means of Christian indoctrination to the horror of our blended religious society. We have separated science from theology. We have allowed the religion of atheism, that faith which holds one to be accountable only to themselves, to become the state-approved religion.

I remember when prayer in school was simply asking God to guide us through the day in openness to learning, in respectfulness to those who teach, and to help us be honorable in all that is said and done. Amen. This style of prayer is like that which opens the daily session of Congress and the sessions of the Supreme Court. This style of prayer is a reminder to students, teachers, administrator as well as the legislative and judicial bodies that they are not accountable to friends and associates. All are accountable to God whose love is without conditions and whose grace is without end.

We can attempt to solve the problems of gun violence by ridding ourselves of guns. But, evil will find a new weapon. The solution is the narrow door; the maintaining of the measurements of home plate. Many nations turned to dictatorships and governments ruled by religious fundamentalist through fear. What would it be like if our solution were to be intentional about directing individuals toward the narrow gate? Might we dedicate ourselves to the development of personal relationships with God through prayer, study of the holy texts and worship that is directed to God? Just a thought.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Sam