Jesus spoke about a narrow path as the way of genuine spiritual life.
But he also said it was difficult and one of the least traveled roads
For travelers on the narrow road, “the wheel” can be very useful. I
learned to use the wheel many years ago from the
Navigators. It has been part of my
spiritual journey ever since.
The wheel is a simple illustration that helps us follow Christ on
the narrow path. Each part of the wheel represents an essential
element of the journey. Each element keeps the wheel turning and the
disciple on course.
If one element is missing, the wheel collapses and a disciple can
end up in a ditch.
The Hub: Christ
Cor 5:17; Gal 2:20)
The hub of the wheel is Christ. Being a Christian means
making Christ central. Making Christ central is an act of the will. It
is a daily decision to walk as Christ walked (Lk 9:23-24; 1 Jn 2:6). It
requires submitting to what God wants you to do here-and-now. It means
trusting God and letting go of your demands to have life “your way” or
on “your terms.” The payoff for surrender is new life and hope (2 Cor
5:17) even as it feels like death of the old self (Gal 2:20).
The Rim: Obedience
(Rom 12:1; Jn 14:21)
The rim of the wheel is obedience to God. Some acts of
obedience are internal. But internal acts of obedience—such as changing
attitudes, motives, values, and thoughts—eventually surface as external
and observable behaviors, particularly in our relationships with others.
Observable obedience separates spiritual fantasy from reality. So it is
important to make acts of obedience concrete and observable.
First Spoke: The Word
(2 Tim 3:16; Josh 1:8)
The first spoke of the wheel is the Word. I believe that
God speaks to you and me through Scripture. Meditating on Scripture and
responding to what you hear God saying through Scripture is vital for
walking on the narrow path. After all, the path itself is illuminated by
the light of Scripture (Psa 119:105). I recommend seeking God every day
in and through Scripture, starting with the Sermon on the Mount (Matt
5-7) or Mark’s Gospel, if you have not read them.
Second Spoke: Prayer
(Jn 15:7; Phil 4:6-7)
The second spoke is prayer. Prayer is a natural response
to God as you encounter the difficulties, uncertainties, and joys of
life. It is sharing your heart with the One who created you for
companionship. Prayer helps us see our lives from God’s perspective.
Prayer gives us power to deal with personal battles. And prayer can be
another way to hear God speak to us in very personal ways.
Third Spoke: Fellowship
(Matt 18:20; Heb 10:24-25)
The third spoke is fellowship. Just as God was in Christ, so God is
present in the body of Christ, the church. In this fellowship of the
church, each member is part of one body (1 Cor 12:4-7) with different
gifts, functions, and needs (1 Cor 12:8-11). Each member functions
interdependently with other members (1 Cor 12:12-14) and each needs the
others to be whole (1 Cor 12:14-26). I think of fellowship as a divine
family in the making.
Fourth Spoke: Witnessing
(Matt 4:19; Rom 1:16)
The fourth spoke is witnessing. It is natural for any
group that values what they are doing to want to share it with others.
In a word, it means “witnessing,” but to what? To the Good News—that God
has created and cares for each individual, that each person can
experience fulfillment as God has designed when they walk the
narrow path. Witnessing can take many forms, but ultimately it means
witnessing in both word (preaching, teaching, and telling)
and in deed (serving, loving, and sharing).
So keep the wheel turning. Make Christ central by submitting to what God
wants you to do. Make responses to God in concrete and observable ways.
Take time to encounter God in the Word and in prayer. Fellowship
with other Christians and “make family” with other travelers on the narrow path. And, finally,
reach out to others in word and deed to encourage their journey on the