The final approach to the throne always seems to be the most difficult. Most of us spend more time ascending and descending than we do abiding. Our great resolutions to do better nearly always wind up with a terrible fall, meaning we have to start all over again.
But the road to the top is not only difficult because of bandits, tempters, or deceivers. Rather it is the pits beside the road which hold the greatest threat. It is blocked with gates and bordered by deep pits waiting to consume us. Only those who are under constant control of the Holy Spirit will arrive.
(This previously unpublished manuscript was discovered in an old file drawer in the office of the late Jamie Buckingham several years after his death. The date it was written is unknown, but a best guess is in the mid to late 1970s. )