The Path To Life
The Donner party left in 1846 to head west. They were seeking a better life. Their party consisted of 81 people and 23 wagons. Upon arriving in Fort Bridger, Wyoming they found a leaflet by Lansford Hastings. Hastings claimed to have found a shortcut to California. So with their wagons packed they headed west through the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Just west of Salt Lake City they found 80 miles of salt desert that almost proved to be insurmountable.
Their last obstacle was the Sierra Nevadas. The encountered snow there that they would have never confronted on the established trail. Their shortcut became a long cut. They had almost no provisions left and became trapped. Fifteen men set out to journey to Fort Sutter. Seven made it. Search parties were sent out, but never were able to reach the Donner Party. The next spring only half of them had survived through the winter. Many went mad. Others turned to cannibalism to survive. All of that happened because shortsighted men opted for a shortcut. They took the easy way out.
In Genesis 3, Satan offered Eve a shortcut. The fruit Eve at was more than just good-looking fruit. It says she saw it was “good for food… a delight to the eyes… desired to make one wise” (v. 6). Notice that last description: it was able to make her wise. The shortcut Eve was offered was an easier and quicker path to wisdom and knowledge. Rather than learning and maturing while in the Garden, Eve was offered the quick fix. The opportunity to gain all of that through one or two bites.
Did it work? Sure. Adam and Eve both had more wisdom and knowledge after eating the fruit than they did previously. But at what cost? Woman was given pain in childbirth and the obligation of submission to her husband (Genesis 3:16). Man was given a cursed grown to work for food that would bring pain and sweat (Genesis 3:17–19). Both were given the sentence of death (Genesis 3:19). And they were driven from the Garden and separated from God (Genesis 3:24). All of that happened because Eve opted for a shortcut.
Satan is good at offering shortcuts. They look good. They feel good at first. They will even give you a reason to boast (1 John 2:15–17). But they will lead to more pain and destruction.
One more thing… The crowd typically takes the shortcut (Matthew 7:13–14). That means most of the people you know will not only be taking shortcuts in life, they will attempt to get you to join them.
Learn from the Donner Party… Watch out for shortcuts. Take the narrow path. It will be hard. There will be obstacles. But it will always lead you to life.