One of the Crowd


Eclipse crowdsAre you one of the millions of people in the path of totality for the eclipse today? Is there a crowd where you were, or did you watch it with just a few people?

In my hometown of Hopkinsville, Kentucky–one of the sites with the longest duration of totality–some hundred thousand people were expected to triple the size of the town. Every park, golf course, athletic field, pasture and other open space had been divided into viewing spots, where one could rent a space to park your camper or vehicle, or to set up your lawn chair, for the big event.

Across the country from Oregon to South Carolina, traffic jams occurred as people traveled to the band of totality.

In northern Iowa where I live now, a 95 percent eclipse was expected, and that’s enough for us. We had no desire to be part of the crowds chasing the total eclipse of the sun, as exciting as it must be.

A couple of days ago, we went to the Iowa State Fair on the last weekend, with more than 100,000 visitors. Lines for the most popular food and attractions were long, moving through the exhibits was difficult, and the shuttle buses were standing room only.

Crowds can be interesting if you like to observe people, or they can be annoying when you want to get someplace. They can even be dangerous when a crowd becomes a mob, as we’ve seen in recent years in Charlottesville, Ferguson, and other locations.

Jesus warned of a crowded road that leads to destruction:

 “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” (Matthew 7: 13, ESV).

Following the crowd may seem desirable, but you never know where you might end up. Choosing the more difficult road requires trust but results in a more satisfying life.

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:14, ESV).

Will you be one of the crowd, or will you choose the difficult path to a fulfilling life?