Imagine a goldfish. There he is in his water filled glass bowl. Swimming along. When suddenly he begins to wonder what lies beyond his life in the fishbowl. What would life be like out in the world. He looks all around him and there is SO much, so many options, so many things. And so with that the goldfish makes his move. He decides he is going to leap out of his bowl and embark on a new life. He spins around quickly in a circle, gaining speed, and then jumps with all of his might. He soars through the air, lands on the table, and his new life begins. He leaves life as it was intended to be lived to try and make it on his own. But the story doesn't go on for very much longer, he flaps around on the table for a little while, and the world begins to suffocate him. He can only breathe, thrive, live when he's in his fishbowl of water. The world leads him to death. There is a world full of options and a world full of things, but no matter what, they will all suffocate him. There is only one thing that will bring him life.
We are that goldfish.
Matthew 7:13-14 - "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
In John 10:9-10 Jesus says, "I am the gate...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
Many will walk down the broad road and through the wide gate that leads to destruction. A chasing after the world that won't satisfy us, rather, it suffocates us. But there are a few who will walk down the narrow road and through the small gate that leads to life. It's Jesus verses everything else. It's life with Christ or life apart from Christ. It's life outside the fishbowl, floundering about, being suffocated by the world or thriving in the setting that leads to life.
The encouragement is that we don't have to swim alone. Our God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). All we have to do is ask him, ask him anything, and he will answer (1 Kings 3:5).
Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.