"You are not sure how you got here, but you are here. The path is narrow. The dimly lit corridor stretches before you offering hope of freedom and dread of things to come. Spots of light create hope, yet the shadows of exaggeration and distortion bring confusion. As your hands grope along the wall, you know there is an opening. There is a way through. You take your next step. The floor slightly collapses causing you to grab the wall for support. The lights go out. You stand still and wait for the light. Frustration, fear, panic, and hopelessness try to control you. You begin to doubt your reality. What is true anyway? Then the lights gradually come back up bringing things into focus. Hope builds and you begin to move forward again. Good, you see a turn in the path. You are making progress. The lights begin to dim again. You prepare to make the turn but there is a wall. There is no opening! There is only wall—no door. You can’t find the door! “God help me!” you scream. “Be still.” You hear a voice. “Be still, and I will lead you!” You continue to spread your hands over the wall in silence trying to make sense of it all. “Help me,” You finally whisper. “I can’t find the door.” The light increases. Your eyes began to focus again. “Look up,” You hear the whisper. “Look up for your answer.” There it is! You push the button and the wall miraculously opens. A lighted path is in front of you. You are finally on your way again. Your steps become more confident. You are no longer alone. You now have “the voice” to lead you—and you have light. Every part of you is aware that you are not alone. You can now see a short distance in front of you. Things are clearer. You begin to gain speed. Each step is not quite so cautious. The light gives you confidence and direction. You are finally moving forward. Then the light begins to dim again. Darkness envelopes the tunnel and the shadows return. “Where did you go?” You cry out into the darkness. “Don’t leave me in the dark!” “Don’t panic. I will lead you with my voice through the dark times.” His reassuring tone calms you. “There will be light again, but learn to trust me through the darkness. Make a slight turn to right. Remember you are not alone.” “Others have conquered the maze. It is your turn.” You tell yourself, “Don’t be a quitter. You can do this! Keep going! Trust the voice. He’s your guide.” You move slowly to the right and find a door. It opens! Ah, light again. However, this light is creating shadows. The shadows are overwhelming. Everything seems to be moving at once. Watching the shadows, you look out into the darkness. Fear begins to take control. Nothing is focused. Nothing is clearly understood. “Help me,” You whisper. “Show me the way through.” “Keep your eyes on the light,” the voice instructed. “Keep going forward. Concentrate on the light, not the shadows.” You turn toward the light again and refocus. As your eyes adjust, you see a wall full of doors. “But there are so many doors!” you exclaim. “Which door is the right one?” “Push on every door.” He instructed. “The right one will open. I will never leave you, so do not be afraid. Keep going. You can do this.” There are so many locked doors. You almost give up, but wait, this one seems to be opening. You cautiously push the door forward and then you see a wonderfully lit corridor filled with gentle music and colorful lights. Finally, you are enjoying the maze. This room is comfortable. The walls are not so narrow; there is a lounge chair and even a book to read. Things are finally working out for you. You stretch your legs out as you sink into the recliner. You lean back with the book provided and take a quiet respite. After a short time of rest, you hear the voice, “It’s time to move on. There’s still more maze ahead.” You become frustrated. It is comfortable here. You do not really need another challenge. “Why can’t I just stay here? I’m finally comfortable. My needs are met. Why should I continue to go forward?” you ask. “There’s a prize at the end of the maze.” He reminded. “Winners finish the maze. Are you coming?” You don’t want to be accused of quitting. Reluctantly, you pull yourself out of the easy chair and walk down the next corridor. As you suspected, things begin to grow dimmer and dimmer. You try to look back but your comfort room is no longer there. There is no going back. You realize that the only way out is forward. Oh no! Another dead end. Suddenly the light disappears. You have been here before—no need to panic. You decide to ask for help. “Which way now?” you ask confidently. No answer. “Hey, where did you go? You promised to lead me!” Still no answer. The darkness seems even darker now. “Do I stand still and wait for an answer or should I try to go forward without the voice?” you ask yourself. You decide to try to find it yourself. “There’s probably another button like before,” you reason. Your hands grope the wall above your head. You find nothing. You try the other wall—nothing. You turn to the third wall and there it is. It’s a little lower than the other button, but you push it. The floor begins to crumble. It’s like quick sand. Oh, no! You are sinking fast. You struggle to get your feet lose from the enveloping pit, but you just sink faster. “Help me,” you cry. “Save me!” Suddenly you feel solid ground under your feet again. No more sinking. “Why didn’t you wait for me?” the voice asked. “Didn’t I tell you I would guide you? I promised I would never leave you. Learn to trust me. Learn to be still and know that I am working everything out for your good. Wait patiently on me, and I will bring you through the maze successfully. I know the right path for you. I understand the maze.” With resolution and determination, you begin the trip again. You grow more aware of the presence of the voice even when you’re not hearing it. You now know you are not alone even when things are silent. Trust grows and you relax. Your fears turn to dependency. Life becomes simpler—not in your circumstances but in your perception. You begin to trust the voice enough not to worry about the next corridor. Hasn’t He been faithful? Hasn’t He promised to be faithful? Why should you doubt? He will lead you to the end of the maze. After that is your great reward! You continue on your journey following the voice—wiser and more trusting. You understand now, the only direction is forward. Nothing exists behind you. You must keep walking forward until you win the prize. Only the voice knows where the path leads and how many trials lay ahead, but He has promised to lead you through it all.
NOTES ON “THE MAZE OF LIFE”
1. Life is always going forward. You cannot go backward. There’s nothing there. It is gone forever.
2. There is no “reverse” in life, but sometimes we go in circles.
3. Must adjust our direction as we move forward to change destiny.
4. Repentance is making a U-turn—a forward motion.
5. Our spiritual walk is always a forward motion.
6. Don’t look back! Look up!
7. Gain strength from God and follow Him to new depths or heights.
8. Let Him pull you out of miry pits, clean you up, and set your path straight.
9. God can lead you out of
10. Repentance is a daily thing. Permit God to change your direction.
11. God will be your light in the midst of darkness.
12. His voice will be your guide when the light becomes dim.
13. His presence will be your comfort when there is no light or voice.
14. Concentrate on the light rather than the darkness.
15. Put your eyes on Him.
He calls us, “Come, follow Me!” Philippians 3: 12-14 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All I can add to this is a hearty, "AMEN!" God bless you all today!