Saint Innocent (Veniaminov) of Moscow used the following parable to explain the concept of the Kingdom of Heaven to his parishioners.
– Imagine that you happen to be the sole heir to your rich uncle. That uncle bequeathed to you his luxurious mansion on the top of a picturesque mountain. An introvert that he had been, he had not built a road to his mansion but used a path to get there instead. He left you a map of the mountain with the path marked on it. Therefore, you have to take that path if you want to get to the mansion that you inherited.
This is not unlike what we who aspire for the Heavenly Mansion, which our Lord Jesus Christ bequeathed to us, should do. We should learn which road leads to that place, and what we must and mustn’t do to get there and so forth.
Our map is the Holy Scripture and Orthodox books; the rangers are the pastors of the Holy Church whose duty is to help the faithful and lead them towards the paradise. Our food is God’s grace that strengthens our spirits. The path that leads to the paradise may sometimes be extremely narrow, thorny, and hard to tread, whilst other paths may appear wider and more comfortable. However, you should not trust your eyes. The Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles have forewarned more than once that there is only one road that leads to the Heavenly Kingdom, and that is the road described in the Gospel.
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds