The confines of the Mahoosuc Notch constrict a hiker's movements, and force the removal of the pack to squeeze beneath a boulder at times. There is not an opportunity while passing through to take a Plan B route. No matter how you feel about it or your preference, the landscape dictates the terms.
Jesus presented a similar image when he said "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (Matthew 7:13-14). Statements like this provoked the same sort of reaction in Jesus' day that they do from many people today. "And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one who had authority." (Matt 7:28-29). Many would prefer that they were the authority and the truth was determined by their feelings but like boulders in the Mahoosuc Notch, the authority and narrowness of Jesus is unmovable.
Authoritative and narrow statements are pervasive throughout the Bible. The Old Testament repeatedly puts forth the uncompromising and narrow claim that there is only one God and no runners-up. For example:
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." (Deuteronomy 6:4-6).
"I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God" (Is 45:5).
The New Testament is equally restrictive, stating not only that there is only one God, but also that Christ is the one way to the one God. "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all." (I Timothy 2:5-6).
The good news of the narrow way is that it "leads to life" (Matthew 7:14). When we surrender to Jesus on His terms, we find the way to eternal life. "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6) This statement capsulizes both the narrowness of the way, but also the promise of the destination. He is the way and the truth (narrowness), while also being "the life". Eternal life is found in Him!