Jung Myung Seok

Visiting the dangerous “Narrow Gate Rock” at Dragon’s Gate Cave

The Dragon’s Gate is truly a precious place; there’s a breathtaking rock perched on the cliff, a pine tree that grows out of a rock, and the exquisite scenery of the deep valley of Daedun Mountain. 

The Dragon’s Gate also boasts of many special rocks. Some look like human sculptures, some are as tall as towers, some take the form of a person in prayer, some have images of figures embracing each other and yet others are in the shape of animals. 

The Knife Rock

There is a particular rock by the Dragon’s Gate cave which looks like it has been split into half by a big knife. Because of that, the space in the middle of the rock formed a narrow path – so narrow that someone with a big build simply cannot pass through. This path was right next to the spot where I frequently prayed during my ascetic life of prayer.

When I started leading a church, I brought some members to see Dragon’s Gate. A curious male Deacon wanted to visit the place where I prayed, but his big build made it impossible to pass through. However, he exclaimed: “Teacher, even though I am big in size, I am really good at climbing mountains!”

I asked him: “You are heavier than me by at least 10 kg, are you sure that you are able to pass through?” 

He answered: “I can definitely pass through it effortlessly! In the past, I’ve frequently climbed steep mountains where I could have easily fallen to my death. Let me first have a try at the entrance. If I really cannot pass through, I’ll just look from there instead of going further.”

I cautioned him: “There is no one to help you when you are travelling on that path. You have to rely on your own skills and abilities to pass through.”

The male Deacon then entered the entrance of the narrow path. I asked: “Can you go in?” His worried wife pleaded with him: “My dear, listen to the Teacher! Please don’t go in.” The male Deacon answered: “Don’t scare me!” 

After which, he stepped onto the difficult path, pressing his back onto the inner rocks, and walked a few steps, moving even slower than a tortoise. It was so difficult that he could only inch forward a tiny step at a time. Also, he had to stick his back and both hands against the rock to move forward.

 Then, he stopped and said to me: “It is so difficult to get through!” 

I replied: “If you are not confident, come back out!” He replied: “Even though it is very difficult to go forward, but I will try!”

 I said: “Right now, I can only pray for you. Please call out to the Lord to grab hold of you tightly!” The male Deacon then called out to the Lord while he was moving forward and he succeeded in the end!

 I went on the path to take a look at the place behind the rock where he was. He was breaking out in cold sweat and was so nervous that he froze up.

 His wife said to him: “Since I am smaller in size than you, I can definitely pass through as well!”

What I realized from this incident

On that day, we all went through the path in between “the rock that was sliced apart with a knife” – the Narrow Gate Rock, which is symbolic of the narrow gate mentioned in

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. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

In our life too, we encounter situations like the narrow path – challenges abound and are difficult to overcome. We can now live up to a hundred years, but people might die 30, 50, or even 70 years earlier than expected due to a single accident – isn’t that scary? While praying in the mountains, I called out to the Lord countless of times to protect my life in the midst of danger.

That was how I was able to survive the harsh weather over long periods of time during my ascetic life of prayer. In the face of danger, we can avoid death if we call out to the Lord earnestly. When we call out to the Lord, then He can lead us through the narrow gate of life. 

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