a woman jaywalking across the street

There Are No Shortcuts

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”

matthe 7:13 niv

Earlier this week, as I drove the familiar route from my office to pick my kids up from school, my mind was a flutter of activity from the work day, not to mention the evening sports events, which kid needed to be where and by when, what to fix for dinner, what to order for my  youngest son’s birthday, along with a myriad of other random daily concerns.

To say my mind was occupied would be a gross understatement. Because of this, I missed the familiar road that leads to the familiar car line I encounter every day at 3:00 p.m. Realizing my mistake a second too late, I re-adjusted the route in my head, and decided to take, what I thought, was a genius short cut. I was wrong. 

As I turned into the Do Not Enter exit that all parents use at some time or another, I had no problem jumping into the quickly disappearing car line.

Only, the person adding each parent’s vehicle to the automated system feeding into the school where my children were patiently waiting, did not notice my vehicle, since I bypassed the normal car line.

Therefore, when I reached the front of the line, my kids were not in my car. I had to stop the flow of traffic because they had not been added to the car line roster. Oops.

Shortcuts oftentimes cause more difficulty than doing things the long way, or the right way, as my loving Father would say, the first time. 

How many times in life have I been guilty of attempting to shortcut my way to success, only to experience heartache, difficulty, and frustration?

“Enter through the narrow gate. For side 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 niv

I have often heard the phrase, “A cheater only cheats themselves.” I believe this is what Jesus talked about when referencing the narrow gate that few enter. In life, humans tend to focus on the most immediate, easiest, quickest gratifying means to an end, which does not always lead to success.

I learned today, by my shortcut turned inconvenient disaster, not only to myself, but to those in line behind me that I inadvertently held up from their anxious attempts to exit the car line, that shortcuts do not always produce the desired result. 

As I drove away from the car line, embarrassingly explaining to my children why their name was not on the digital board as it is every other day, I sadly realized that I was that parent.

The one I mentally cuss every other day from the safety of my own vehicle. The one I shake my head at, thinking, ‘Geez, it’s not rocket science!’

The one I mentally judge for taking a shortcut, that costs me, and other rule-abiding parents, precious minutes of time we will never recover. I had joined the ranks of the short-cutters. I was that disobedient and thoughtless parent.

I have been that person in life as well. Trying to shortcut my way through work, relationships, family obligations, parenting, hobbies, even my greatest passions and soul desires. Very rarely (if ever) do life’s shortcuts lead to the desired results.

Only patiently, diligently, obediently doing the hard work, seeking wisdom, and putting forth 100% of one’s soul will reveal the ultimate goal: success. Earlier this week, I stumbled. Yet, I also learned. Going forward, I refuse to be that parent. Yet, because of my own downfalls, I will be a little more forgiving to others who are in the process of discovering that shortcuts often lead to disastrous results, far away from the intended goal.

Matthew 7:13 NIV

Similar Posts

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *