For most of us, a new school year has begun. A time when we come back and see old friends we haven’t seen for a while. We have changed, many times physically, emotionally, and maybe even spiritually. We have been changed by summer experiences and relationships of which only we know.

What was your summer like?

How have you been changed?

Let us now listen for where God meets us in these changes.

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“Go in through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to destruction is broad and the road wide, so many people enter through it. But the gate that leads to life is narrow and the road difficult, so few people find it."

Matthew 7:13-14

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"'It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door […] You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.'"

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954

Journeys and paths always make me think of hobbits and The Lord of the Rings. In that classic story, a small hobbit named Frodo leaves his comfortable home to go on a very difficult and scary adventure. The easier response to the call is to not go. To stay home in the Shire, his little village home, and be comfy and safe.

But instead, Frodo goes on a long journey with new friends. He goes through the narrow gate and takes the difficult road. In today’s reading, God calls us to the difficult path of discipleship, of spreading the good news in our daily lives. It might seem simpler to just stay home, where it’s safe and comfortable.

Randall Curtis

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Lord, thank you for paths that seem difficult and for the bravery to walk those paths. Help me to always look for new challenges and walk in those with you. Amen.

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Before you go from this place, take a deep breath.

Open your heart to the possibilities that come from change.

Have no fear.

Rest in the assurance that God is with you, wherever the way may lead you.

Randall Curtis

Randall Curtis is the Ministry Developer for Young Adults and Youth for the Episcopal Church in Arkansas. Randall is also the President of Forma ( and a regular podcaster at the Easter People Podcast ( He blogs at Randall lives in Arkansas with his wife, daughter, two pugs, and nine tortoises.

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