The Great Smokey Mountains National Park is one of my favorite paces to visit. I enjoy the hiking trails, especially the ones that lead to waterfalls.
On our most recent visit, I hiked with family members to Rainbow Falls. Classified by the Park Service as a moderately difficult hike, it took us a couple of hours to make it up the rugged terrain and around the numerous switchbacks. We didn’t hike non-stop. We took time to view the scenery, take pictures in a hollow log, walk behind another waterfall on the way, and climb over boulders and fallen trees just off the trail.
There were other people along the trail. Some were taking self-made shortcuts. Others were resting. Some had decided to quit and go back. There were others who were on a different trail. One guy that passed us was jogging up the trail. Amazing. In spite of roots, rocks, muddy spots, and an uphill grade, he wasn’t even breathing hard.
There was another waterfall along the trail to Rainbow Falls. It was pretty. I even walked behind it. If you didn’t have a clear understanding of what your destination was or knew where you were on the path, you could easily be deceived into believing you were at Rainbow Falls when in fact, you would be well short of it.
Regardless of what we were doing or what others did, the reality was there was only one trail to Rainbow Falls. Whether you tried a self-made shortcut, or you stopped for photos, or you got off the trail to explore, the only way to the falls was to get back on that trail and follow it.
There are those who say the way to heaven is like multiple trails on a mountain. We’re all headed to the same destination, but even though we haven’t all chosen the same path they all end the at same place and therefore, any religion is just as good as another. That sounds good, but it is a fallacy.
If you want to get to Rainbow Falls you can’t take any trail you want in the Great Smokey Mountains, because they don’t all lead there. You can try other routes and shortcuts and scenic by-passes, but unless you get back on that trail. you won’t make it.
Jesus said He was the way, the truth, and the life and that no one makes it to God except through Him. He warned us that there was another path. He called it the broad way, but He said it leads to destruction. He said only the narrow way – His way – leads to eternal life.
Don’t be deceived by those who would point you down another path or who would suggest a destination that is short of the goal or convince you to turn around because the way is too difficult. It wasn’t an easy journey for us to Rainbow Falls, but when we got there, it was worth it all.
If you are trying another way, or if you have decided to go on your own shortcut or if you have gotten distracted by the scenery or listened to someone who is pointing you in a different direction, I plead with you to follow the path Jesus taught. How do you get on His path? The Four Spiritual Laws is like the trail head.