The Narrow Way

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 29 Jan 2024

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Matthew 7:13-14


I have only ever been given one vision in my life, of a person who abused me greatly, and did much damage to myself and people in my family.  In the vision, this person was reclining in a luxurious pose on a bleak, rocky outcropping, high above a gloomy abyss.  There were no furnishings of any kind, yet this person was reclined as though sitting on an expensive sofa.  She was alone, without so much as a broken folding chair to sit on, but she had an air of smugness, of basking in the glow of her admirers.  She wasn't naked, but I have no memory of what she was wearing.  Whatever it was, the pleasures of vanity she derived from wearing it were not visible to me.  Except, of course, on her face, upon which a salacious grin of pure, opulent wickedness was spread out like a buffet of condemnation, from which she had yet to truly partake.  She had the air of a bloodthirsty tyrant, or a movie star from the golden age of Hollywood.  She was drunk from the wine of the wrath of her fornication, intoxicated with hell.  

There was no scene or setting behind her, only darkness.  Nothing was visible, but the sense of horror was visceral and overwhelming.  It was pure evil.  She obviously had no idea where she actually was, but it was only a matter of time before her illusions were shattered, and the horror enveloped her completely.

The vision didn't last long, and I wasn't asleep when it came to me.  It wasn't a dream, or a hallucination.  It was a clear, obvious vision, as clear as any scene from a movie, except real.  I was living in my van at the time, and it helped me overcome any unforgiveness, wrath, or anger of my own.  Which is particularly difficult while living in a van.  But God showed me that in spite of all the gold-plated presumptions of the rich and powerful abusers who make transparently-false claims to righteousness and virtue, they are in fact stranded on a bleak, rocky pedestal of their own making, and are only one involuntary heartbeat away from being swallowed by the terror that comprises the entirety of the landscape behind them.  Their time is coming. 

They have nothing.


"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods,
and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art
wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:"
Revelation 3:17


I told the story in part in another article on this blog, but when I OD'd in Milwaukee in 1999, I truly believe that if I hadn't repented openly and out-loud to Jesus Christ on the spot, I would have died and gone to hell.  My hearing was fading, my sight was being reduced to tunnel vision, and every time it happened the machine I was hooked up to started going crazy.  I knew that I was dying.  I figured, if these were my final moments on earth, I was going to go out confessing Jesus Christ.  My girlfriend at the time even invited one of her friends over later, after I'd recovered, to try to talk me out of my conversion.  Some kind of witch, I think.  I remember some chick trying to explain to me why I was "going through a phase," or something.  I'm sure they thought I'd "snap out of it" eventually.  As though you could "snap out" of the holy terror you experience on the edge of the abyss.  I remember the conversation vaguely; mostly, I remember wondering why anybody would try to talk me out of not wanting to go to hell.  God turned it around, though.  Last I heard, the witch repented and got saved herself.  HALLELUJAH.  Nobody cares how they look or sound, when they're standing at the gates of hell.



"Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;"
2 Corinthians 5:11


The purpose of this article is to encourage you (and remind myself) to be very (very) careful what you allow into your soul these days.  Usta be, you could just avoid death metal and street drugs, and you would probably be alright.  Now, in addition to demonic music and synthetic death powder, and skipping over a large handful of transitional vices, these days, I think it's necessary to avoid even THE NEWS.  As in, the daily happenings of the world.  Like drugs, or death metal.  THE NEWS.  As bad as Fentanyl and porn.  THE NEWS is not the news anymore.  It has become a synthetic death substance, and I believe it has the actual capacity to drag our souls to hell.


Let me be clear.  I'm not saying to be uninformed.  I'm saying to be conscious of the degree to which being informed tempts you off the narrow path, and into sin.  Because the news isn't what it was, even 5 years ago.  The news these days is infuriating.  The daily events of the world are truly revolting to behold.  I'm at the point where it's starting to make me laugh.  It isn't joyful laughter.  But if I don't laugh with an air of detached incredulity, incapable of believing what I see and hear and read, I run the danger of getting angry in a way that is morbidly counterproductive, at best.

Which is where Xo Biden sniffing ice cream cones in an AI diaper ad comes in.  The relief such absurd nonsense provides is in direct correlation to the furious revulsion any reasonable person will experience while watching the news reports that make such nonsense possible (and necessary) in the first place.  I wonder what is the greater cultural shock:  People who had to learn how to drive at the age of 50 after riding horses their entire lives, or a world in which videos like this are even remotely possible, especially starring an American president.

Hard to say.  Apples and oranges, diapers and ice cream cones, liberals and conservatives...  Who even knows anymore?

But I have to be careful not to watch too much news.  If I'm not careful, the anger will infect me, and turn my soul to bitterness.  I will be tempted toward prejudice and contempt for certain coddled segments of society, people who clearly believe they are above the law, and have an air of smug, self-righteous entitlement that matches the opulent wickedness of the subject in a vision of judgment and hell.  I will begin to hate the fake, incontinent president, and everybody who pretends that America is going to vote its way out of the current nightmare in November, when we couldn't even vote to prevent this nightmare from happening in the first place, in 2020 (surely, I'm not the only one who sees how much worse it's gotten while we were all waiting around for another 4, interminable years to pass).  I will want to rub the noses of any Bush-era liberals in the treatment of the J6 prisoners, which rivals Guantanamo Bay and Stalinist Russia in torture and other forms of extralegal abuse.  Unbelievably, and to my own unbearable dismay, if I'm not careful I will feel the need to actually explain to people in a comment section why George Floyd is not a martyr.  And I am physically incapable of watching a bunch of smug, entitled Chinese people trying to shut down a piano player in London from filming himself playing in a public space.  If you have nerves of pure Teflon, a soul of perfect, crystalline love to which nothing stupid sticks, look the story up; if you're prone to harboring loathing and contempt for arrogant control freaks who take their lives for granted and actually believe they have the right to boss people around, like I am, perhaps avoid it.  The footage really pissed me off.  

And while I'm too much of an old-school, Constitutional American to ever run into the demonic arms of any fringe groups, whether they are of the militant SLA type, or the racist Neo-Nazi variety, stories that involve entitled CCP organs arguing with a British piano player in London certainly tempts my love to wax extremely cold.  As in, like, FROZEN SOLID.  Like a wall of impenetrable titanium ice, my love will be.

If I'm not, y'know, extremely careful.

Because, if anything is clear, it's that the world is getting mad.  It's going mad, it's getting mad, it's on the verge of an apoplectic stroke.  And all kinds of people, from Johnny Rotten to Gerald Celente, will probably defend the "anger is an energy" position, and say that anger is necessary to defeat the evil threatening to destroy the liberties of us all.  I see their point, and I like Johnny Rotten and understand the rationale, but I'm not jumping into the water with that iron shackle around my throat.

"Anger is an energy," indeed.  Like muzzle velocity, or a unit of absorbed dose of radiation equal to .01 units of an eternity of hellfire.

Thanks, but no thanks.

So, how much news is too much news?  How much high-fructose corn information can a sane man stand?  I'm not saying be uninformed, but I am saying to curtail your intake of miserable, infuriating news at the point where your soul is tempted to stray from the narrow path.  I'm not the same person I was a year ago, and the idea that I would stay in this transitional stage, or get bogged down with all kinds of angry, pointless politics is horrific indeed.  I mean, eternally.  Eternally horrific.  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, I persuade myself to make sure I spend at least as much time in The Word as I do on current events. 

Because, to what degree is arguing about politics, etc., a temptation?  Not a base temptation, like sex or drugs.  Something much more horrible than that.  Anger, hatred, loathing, et al.  Hardcore sins, which we can be tempted into just as easily as the obvious, animalistic ones.

I must avoid them.  I have to embrace the UNCONDITIONAL FORGIVENESS OF MY ENEMIES, however stupid it makes me look in the eyes of the angry, hateful world.  Because, sometimes, I find myself grumbling against people I haven't seen in years.  Which scares me.  Even if they did me wrong.  And maybe they did.  Well, so what.  What are you going to do about it?  "Win?"  Show the pigs in the vision of hell who's boss?  Get real.  There isn't time to waste trying to fight the 100-foot waves of worldly circumstance anymore.  Personally, I didn't have time for it in 1999.  Which means I have time for it... now less than ever.  Throw the whole thing at the feet of Jesus and walk away.  Because, if culture is the broad path, sinking in the sea, and we are struggling to stay afloat on a lifeboat, tossed in the giant waves like a cigarette butt, it may very well be a matter of life and death to keep our eyes focused on that which God is calling us to.  Holiness, repentance, forgiveness, and faith.


Are we saved because we're on the lifeboat?  Is it completely impossible for us to lose sight of what we're doing, and find ourselves thrown overboard?

I don't think so.  I think it's entirely within the realm of possibility that we join the angry birds on their way to hell.  To NOT think it's a possibility to lose our way, is to perhaps increase the chances that we will.

Hell videos help keep me grounded.  They remind me of how important or sacred my anger is NOT, and how close I've come to an eternity of torment myself.  Because the people in the vision are going down, regardless.  It isn't up to me to stop them.

It's up to me to stay on the lifeboat, so that in the WILDLY FORTUNATE POSSIBILITY that some of them actually repent, I can help them climb aboard.  Our souls are more important than our contempt for each other in this life.  For me to try to "beat" them, is to lose myself in the waves.  To drown in condemnation and circumstance.  Enroute, perhaps, to hell.

I've been to that point often enough to know that I prefer the lifeboat.  By God's grace, I will stay aboard until I get to shore.  I sincerely hope to see you there.

Thanks for listening.

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Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket.


Replacing my blog at

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