It’s Sunday, 8:15 PM, and a junior at the University of Miami walks into the dingy third floor office of “Universal International Term Papers Limited, Inc.” He scribbles out his order and hands it to the clerk. “I’m sorry,” she says, “We don’t have that paper in stock…we’ll have to order it.” The clerk dials the firm’s main office in Boston and...a few minutes later, page after page of an impressively researched paper, transmitted from Boston rolls in. It sounds like something from Alice in Wonderland meets the Matrix doesn’t it? Actually it is a very real practice…and now it is just a few mouse clicks away on the internet.
What’s wrong with this picture? It’s indicative of everything the world stands for – take the easy way out...lie, cheat, steal if necessary. For the world, the bottom line is – take care of good old #1, as fast and as easily as possible. In the pragmatic world we live in, this message not only preaches, it sells. Yet, it is self-serving and ultimately self-deceiving. I am certain that some, if not most of us, have taken the easy way at some point in our lives, but there is a better way to go about taking care of our business. Jesus says that if anyone is going to serve the Father, it is going to have to be from an honest heart and genuine commitment. Anything less? It is going to be lacking. Jesus says Matthew 7:13ff that the ways of the world are a broad way that lead to destruction. There are a lot of people in this world, including believers, who give lip service to Jesus, but where are their hearts? These are the things that Jesus is discussing as He concludes His Sermon on the Mount. The religious leaders of His day have chosen the way of the world…the broad way that is of no benefit. But, for those of us who have every opportunity to exercise integrity in living for the truth, there is certainly a better way. It may not be the greater or more popular way, but it is the way that matters. I think poet Robert Frost has a good handle on it in his poem The Road Not Taken -- "I took the one (road) less traveled, and this has made all of the difference."