‘Life is… a maze, in which we take the wrong turning before we have learnt to walk,’ wrote Cyril Connolly, the British journalist and writer. A maze, according to my dictionary, is ‘a complex and confusing network of paths with high hedges.’
I remember as a child going to Hampton Court’s maze. When you’re little the hedges look exceedingly high and the paths dark. ‘Hold my hand,’ said Dad, ‘and you’ll be all right.’ Suddenly, instead of being afraid, the whole prospect seemed like a great adventure. We started along a path, came to a dividing of the way, took a turn – and ended up in a dead end. We had to retrace our steps and take another path. Soon there was another decision to be made. One path seemed to be right; it was long and seemed to be getting near the finishing point at the centre. But no, we had to turn tail and try again. Eventually we arrived at the middle.
Do you find that life is a maze? Or do you find it amazing? Both, probably. There are perplexing elements to life – redundancy, pandemics, disasters; and there are stunning, mind-blowing elements – the birth of a child, the scent of a rose, the starry night sky. Whether life is a maze or amazing, I know one thing. I’d rather walk through it hand in hand with God, my heavenly Father, than on my own. I’d get very lost and scared without him. Besides which, Jesus told his disciples that he was The Way. Not just any old way, but The Way. That’s good news.