Narrow is the way
By A. Ray Lee
Effie was completing a summer term of study in Spain and planned to visit our daughter Jenny and her husband in Baumholder, Germany where he was stationed with the U. S. Army before returning home. On the spur of the moment, I decided to meet her there and spend a few days visiting, then we would fly home together. Jenny knew my favorite war movie was “The Battle of the Bulge” and gave us a personal tour where much of the fighting took place. On the way, she drove us through the beautiful Moselle valley with its broad vistas of the river flanked by neat vineyards and beautiful old homes to Trier which is said to be the oldest city in Germany predating the time of Christ.
Evidence of the days when the city was under the control of the Roman Empire is abundant in Trier. Passing through the ancient Porta Nigra gate we entered the old city where well-preserved Roman baths remain. Then we visited the museum in which colorful tiles and other items unearthed by allied bombing during the war had been added to the displays. We walked to an amphitheater where gladiators had fought to the death with each other and wild animals as a sport for Roman leaders.
From Tier, we crossed the river into Luxembourg and stopped at Diekirch to visit a WWII war museum featuring items collected by local people from the pastures and fields after the battle was over, before driving on to Bastogne, Belgium where the offensive drive of the Germany army was finally stopped. After spending hours in the allied war museum and driving the restored streets of the city we retraced our route back to Baumholder.
Our drive from Bastogne into Diekirch was over a narrow road following high ridges which gave us a view for miles in each direction. My thoughts went back to a sign in the people’s museum which proclaimed in bold letters- “Road cleared of mines to the ditches.” From mid-December 1944 until mid-January 1945 powerful armies clashed in battle in these fields. One million allied soldiers had been involved and had sustained approximately 80,000 causalities. Perhaps the sign had been recovered from this very road where it had warned of the dangers in straying from the narrow way of safety.
Today we live in a world full of physical and spiritual dangers. The Sermon on the Mount found in chapters five through seven of Matthew’s gospel comprises a handbook of instructions given to guide us through a dangerous and difficult world where the hearts and souls of men are under constant attack by forces of evil. Jesus reveals the theme of his message when he said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13, 14).