Fat Man Squeeze and the Narrow Gate

Well after 20+ years of roadside advertising, Rock City in Chattanooga finally drew me in. My wife, my boys, my brother and his wife made the trip up Lookout Mountain to Rock City this past Saturday. I will just say quickly, it was a real nice time. Good value and some cool attractions. The attraction bellow is called “Fat Man Squeeze”.   

Now for those of you who don’t know me, I am not the most petite of fellows so I was a little apprehensive when I approached this part of the hike. Mild claustrophobia is also not an asset here either, but my boys were there so I had to venture in. It was pretty tight. I had to walk sideways and the whole time the rock walls were pressing against my front and back sides, and while my movement forward was never completely hindered, I had to remain mindful of what I was doing to get to the end.

Reflecting back on “Fat Man Squeeze” two things came to mind. First is in Matthew 7:13-14 when Jesus delivering the Sermon on the Mount tells His listeners that the gate that leads to following Him is narrow. In context, Jesus makes this pronouncement directly following His command to treat others as you would like them to treat you. I feel like Jesus was saying that it takes diliberate effort on our part to be like Him, and that making that effort won’t always be easy. He is calling us to choose the narrow gate of sacrifce and servitude over the wider gate of selfishness and being served. The second thing that came to mind was Psalm 27:5.

Psalm 27:5

For he will hide me in his shelter
     in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of
     his tent;
he will life me high upon a rock.

As I manuveured that tight squeeze I was a little freaked out at first. I felt confined and I felt a loss of control. What was odd was that the more I moved through it the pressure of the rock walls on both sides became comforting.

So whats the take-away? For me I learned a couple things in the “Fat Man Squeeze”. I learned that following Christ daily will aways require daily, even moment by moment, diliberate navigation through the narrow gate. I also learned that in the narrow gate there is joy and peace, and by letting go of whatever control we think we have and just enjoying the pressure of God’s love and grace that always surrounds we become enabled to fully enjoy the protection and security that God offers us in Jesus.

How do you guys see the narrow gate in the context of everyday life?

Peace and Grace.



6 thoughts on “Fat Man Squeeze and the Narrow Gate

  1. Great Blog my Brother,

    Thanks again for the awesome time we had on Saturday.You know I must say I have always enjoyed spending time with you and the family but here lately I have noticed that ever since we both rededicated our lives to Christ, the times we spend together have seemed to been taken to the next level (to use some of our lingo) It’s an awesome feeling! Have you noticed that ? Maybe it’s because we are together on our Spiritual Walk and not only are we Blood Brothers , we are Brothers in Christ. I just thought about that the other day.

    As far as the “narrow gate” in my everyday life, I feel like the Lord has been like a GPS in my life and has been giving me directions to help make it through it.In the same GPS context, Jesus is telling me to make the next turn or turn around you missed your exit, or even when I have gotten way off course(like a GPS) the Lord has mapped out the route to get back on track. The key is to keep it turned on, keep it updated. Just like you would update your computer with the latest patches, I think we need to stay in the word and get the latest patches from our father.

    I feel what you are saying about the joy and peace inside the “Squeeze”, I felt this was another example we could use to show how our Father protects us. Not only he is our Rock but he also gives us just enough room to craw inside him and feel safe and protected. It’s when we step outside of his protected that we make ourselves vulnerable.

    Thinking back Rock City has been a real spiritual experience for me and looking at some scriptures I realize the significance of the Rock in our lives.

    1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

    Psalms 94:22 But the LORD is my refuge; and my God is the rock of my protection.

    I love you Bro!

  2. So I asked myself, if the walls represent God guiding us through the narrow path, what would it be without the walls. The image I come up with is walking across a tight-rope over a pit of fire while demons shake and taunt us. How did I ever think I could make it without God’s help? So taking the analogy a step further, the walls could represent God’s law and when we reject his laws we are setting out on a tight-rope of our own choicing but when we turn and repent we immediately have Jesus ready to forgive us and guide us back to the narrow path. And though it may be difficult to squeeze forward on the narrow path, it is the only path that goes to the desired destination.

  3. Tony,
    As I read your blog, I am in Ahseville fixing to hike Sterling Mountain trail to the AT for this entire week. Amazing how the Holy Spirit works through us on the same scriptures. I appreciate your perspective on the narrow gate. Looking forward to swervechurch checking out your journey with Christ.
    Be blessed my brother.

  4. One more thought on the “Squeeze”

    From the outside the “Fat man squeeze” looked a little intimidating and impossible to pass but once you got inside the passage you knew that you would be alright and you would be able to come out on the other side. I think that’s how a lot of people who don’t know Jesus feel. They look at the narrow gate and think they can’t go through and they never even try. There are a lot of people out there who are hurting and wanting help but when you tell them that Jesus is the answer and to give their lives to him they look at Him “the narrow gate” and try to take another path. They would rather try to climb the mountain or go around it for 40 years than trust Jesus and follow him. Great topic Bro..It’s one that you can think about and relate to in our walk..Love ya

  5. Nice Picture. I think I would have been freaking out with claustrophobia coming on strong. Great post though. I think your insights on how that related to our walk with Christ was dead on.

  6. Howdy,
    I traveled here from internet monk. Over there, you said that a pastor once told you that submission never truly occurs until you disagree with that to which you must submit. This really struck a chord with me, but I don’t totally understand it. Can you elaborate a bit? Thank you; I really appreciate it!

    Here’s why I ask: I’m at a point in my (single) life where I think I’ve elevated my desire for marriage to such a high point that I’ll never forgive God if He doesn’t give me a husband. Somebody’s been encouraging me to completely sacrifice it to God, and so far I don’t think I can!

    Anyhoo, I would like to think more on that pastor’s statement. It hits home.

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