“Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.”

— Luke [13:24]


Peter Drucker, the famed business advisor, says, “The key to success isn’t what you learn in success, but what you learn in failure.” Consider the following. Winston Churchill was banished from his political party for a decade before he became prime minister. Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he wasn’t smart enough. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first television job as an anchor. Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper because he lacked imagination. We all know the happy endings these stories have. The key ingredients were not giving up and continuing to strive!

“We all want to be successful, but are we willing to put in the effort?”

Most start-up businesses have great ideas. They are led by people who are seeking to grow and create. But 80 percent of these businesses fail. The reason for most is a lack of striving. Many of these businesses fail to connect with their customers. They don’t walk the thousand miles their customers do. In turn they don’t know what their customers want. Many also fail in the first three years because of a lack of time invested, or because they don’t know the hard details of their business. They don’t know why their value proposition needs to be different. In summary, striving is as important as seeking. We all want to be successful, but are we willing to put in the effort?

“When Jesus says go through the narrow gate, he is telling us to avoid the easy way.”

This is what Jesus is getting at in today’s verse. Many of us want success, peace, health, and a strong connection with God. These are things we all seek. Dreams and ambition are critical to moving forward. Wanting to be a good person or good at your craft is a great start. But in our business, personal, or spiritual life success requires effort. When Jesus says go through the narrow gate, he is telling us to avoid the easy way. He is telling us to respect what we seek. He’s asking, are we willing to put the time in?

Larry Bird, the hall-of-fame basketball starter from the Boston Celtics, would show up four hours before practice and games. He would often run laps in the balcony, spend an hour shooting at the basket. Often he arrived many hours ahead of the other team and his own teammates. He wasn’t fast. He wasn’t tall for his position. But he was committed and prepared to be the best.

If our dreams are our passions and aligned with God, Jesus tells us to use the narrow gate. The gate that requires us to strive to be our best.


Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman



What are our individual dreams?

What do we have to do to be an achiever?

How do we respond to failure?