I had the good fortune of having a woods behind my house when I was growing up. One of the well worn pathways in it was one which led directly to my best friend's house on the other side. We spent many hours, especially during summer vacation, going back and forth on that path. Some afternoons, we would spend hours in the woods, pretending to be anything our imaginations could create. There were trees to climb, rocks to find, and flowers to pick.
Another pathway wound the entire length of the woods. This path was used during the summer by the kids on my street to walk to the school about a mile away. We would spend hours swinging, climbing the jungle jim, and just talking and laughing and running. Back then, parents didn't worry about the safety of their children - we rode bikes freely and stayed out until it was dark. Then, we spent the evenings chasing lightning bugs. They are not as easy to catch as you might think! Exhausted, we fell into bed.
My bed was fairly high off the floor and level with one of the windows in my bedroom. I remember falling asleep in the summer with the window open, watching the lightning bugs blink on and off, listening to the katydids' songs, and revelling in the smell of fresh mown grass. No one needed sleeping pills!
Today, the woods is gone - the victim of larger yards and more housing. I live in the suburbs with houses whose backyards are hidden by six foot fences. One has to actually get in a car to find the woods. There actually is a woods within walking distance of my house, but it takes a fairly long trek. Even there, I notice small pathways disappearing into the woods and wonder what human story is behind them.
Paths connect people and places. God asks us to walk a "narrow path". It connects us with Him and leads to life eternal. It is "narrow" because few choose to use it - there are things that you have to leave behind and, in a culture of materialism, we want to take everything with us. But once you make the decision to go into the woods and follow His path, you find that God will offer you so much more than you ever dreamed.