Greetings, fellow travelers of the interwebs!
I have been completely slapped in the face with the same metaphor about three times in the last few weeks. So I’m thinking that if I share it with you, maybe it will leave me be?
I was talking with a friend who was very frustrated. For 20 years, her life ran along the same familiar, worn paths. The “Bob’s* wife” path. The “Sarah’s mom” path. The “Naomi’s best friend” path. But in the last few years, divorce, empty nesting and a complicated series of events have blocked off those paths. At the very least, the familiar parts of them. Now, she doesn’t quite know what to do with herself.
She’s a person whose heart has a lot of love, but the usual recipients just weren’t willing to accept it right now. I kept picturing a maze. Everywhere my friend turned, it seem like the path forward was blocked. So I told her that, and then I said “But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe the point of not being able to go the way you want to go, is you’re being forced to look for another way forward.”
Because we share the same basic faith, I suggested that maybe this was a situation where God was directing her steps away from something old and towards something new.
We’re stubborn aren’t we? We’re really devoted to our ruts.
So a little later, I was describing my own frustrations on a particular front, and another friend suggested… that maybe I should stop beating my head against the same dead-end, and look for a new route.
Then I ran across a couple of related posts that take a different spin on being a stumbling block. A spin that suggests that being an obstacle in someone else’s unquestioned, unexamined path might be the best thing you could do for them.
There’s a difference between a maze and a labyrinth. A maze is a puzzle with a lot of wrong turns. It’s difficult by design. A labyrinth has a single path that goes to the center and back out again. There are no wrong turns in a labyrinth.
At different times, my life has felt like a maze (free to make a ton of mistakes) or a labyrinth (my course predetermined). Neither one is the quickest route from Point A to Point B.
But where’s the fun in going straight from the cradle to the grave without any twists or turns along the way?
* not their real names, silly.