Going Through the WIDE Gate

There are two gates at the dog park. One is the regular gate that most everyone uses while the second is a wider gate that city staff can use to bring in mowing equipment. Because the narrower gate is used most often, there’s more of a path there and when it rains it gets muddy.

As Thistle and I were leaving last weekend a man leaving ahead of us held the narrow gate open for us. I pointed at the wide gate, where there wasn’t any mud, and said we’d go that way. He looked surprised and then allowed as how that would be a good idea.

In the time we were there, no one else used the wide gate. They all followed the path to the main gate and danced through the mud.

I figure I can do one of two things at this point. I can feel all superior because I thought to miss the mud, or I can stop and consider what other areas of my life take me through mud puddles that could be avoided.

How often do I tromp through difficult or awkward situations simply because I haven’t stopped to look around and see if there’s another way? Discussions with my husband. Tasks at work. To-do lists that are out of control. Maybe what I need to do is stop and look around for another path. Another gate. A way to avoid sinking into the mud up to my ankle once again.

Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

9 thoughts on “Going Through the WIDE Gate

  1. Love this, Sarah. Especially love that you included out of control to-do lists. Yes, I think I might be at that same spot of needing to look around for another way rather than just marching forward. 🙂

  2. I like the use of the 2 gates in your example of how we go the way that is most obvious, used by others, easier, etc. But when I first started to read it I thought you were going for the “wide and narrow” gates of scripture. See, I jumped right ahead the way I assumed you were going instead of stopping to read and “hear” you. I tend to get short with people who don’t have “open” minds to hear all sides before choosing. It’s hard to take a close look at our own thinking. 😉

  3. A few years ago a university built a new campus in California, and while they grassed the area between the buildings, they did not put down walkways at first.

    Once the students had worn their paths into the grass, the walkways were installed there.

    And the students promptly changed their traffic pattern.

    I think there is something in us, or many of us, that looks for challenges, even small ones, as a way to develop a habit of winning, and to affirm independence through effort. I used to have a basement office – I could either go through the building to escape, or go into a courtyard and scale a ten-foot wall, to emerge at ground level on a sidewalk. I always took the more challenging route, and I always threw my briefcase over first to make sure I’d have to go that way.

    But oddly enough, I didn’t start a trend. I was the only one. I wonder why?

      1. My high-school guidance counselor said I was a leader…without anyone dumb enough to follow him.

        Of course, those were the days I would leave class through the window (2nd floor or higher), and hooked up a bank of batteries, and clipped leads to my ears to see if I could give myself an Afro.

        It worked. Kind of.

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