Please Stay on the Path

by | May 27, 2001 | Obedience, Warnings

Matt 7:14 “Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” NIV

“Please stay on the Path. Dangerous cliffs.”

Cape Spear, the entrance point to the St. Johns’ harbor in Newfoundland, is both a beautiful and a historical site. The view from the cape, which makes its place in world geography by being the most easterly point in Canada, is spectacular, even hosting, on some days, frolicking humpback and fin whales. This is also the home of two beautiful lighthouses. But in addition to all of this, Cape Spear also draws thousands of tourists each year because of the remains of World War II armaments and barracks anti-Nazi defence structures built to defend Newfoundland from possible attack.

But throughout the entire network of gravelled paths circling the cape were posted these warning signs: “Dangerous Cliffs” and “Please stay on the Path”!

My sons, ages nine and eleven, thought Cape Spear was a wonderful place to visit. They charged through the WWII ruins, raced up the hills to the lighthouses, and scared their poor papa to death by going out dangerously far on the cliffs. “Guys,” I cried. “Read the signs! Stay on the path!”

Their faces glowed in eager anticipation as they started into one of their most annoying habits: Begging! “Why, papa? We’re not at the most easterly point yet. We want to see if there are any whales! Besides, everybody is out on the cliffs! We want to see what they are looking at!”

Sure enough, most of the visitors to Cape Spear seemed to be ignoring the numerous, well-indicated warnings. So instead of arguing, I led them to a plaque that had been placed on the most easterly “safe” point on the cape. This plaque had been dedicated in the memory of someone’s son who had been drowned from these same cliffs at the age of 24. Someone had failed to observe the warning signs and the results had been fatal.

“Look,” I said, indicating the plaque. “This is what can happen to those who ignore these warnings. These signs aren’t here to limit your freedom. They’re here for your protection!”

My boys didn’t seem to be overly impressed, but the incident produced the desired result: They stayed on the path!

Isn’t it so typical for us to try and do things that we are warned not to do? If the speed limit is 100 k/h (65 m/h), it means to drive a minimum of 120 (75), and watch out for the cops! “Do Not Enter” signs mean to quickly peak through the door and see what’s inside. “Don’t touch” means to tap the object when no one is watching. Parents with young children can appreciate this one! Especially when in connection with hot stoves!

Is it any wonder that we, as humans, tend to ignore most if not all of the warning signs provided by God in His Word? The consequences of not doing so, however, are disastrous. If not now, then in the future!

It’s like the couple who zoom down the highway in their convertible. When they see a man frantically waving his arms and yelling for them to stop, they say, “Just look at that lunatic!” Then they drive off the end of the caved-in bridge.

God cannot be lightly ignored. Remember, He has our best interests at heart. He grieves when we ignore Him, when we refuse to develop a close relationship with Him. He cries for all those lost ones who are on their way to perdition, ignoring his loving warning signs.

Why are there so many who are wandering outside the bounds of safety? Why are so many of us blinded by our own ego? Why do we seem to naturally gravitate towards the road that so many others are taking? The Bible says: “Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matt 7:14) NIV

Does this have to be the case for you? Are you heeding God’s warning signs? Or are you looking for opportunities to do just the opposite? Remember: Cape Spears is beautiful, but it can be deadly as well. Are you staying on the path?

Rob Chaffart


Please Stay on the Path