Spiritual lessons can be found in many everyday scenarios, as Jesus proved time and again with His parables, teaching lessons in subjects ranging from mustard seeds to dishonest managers, and alternating between showing the similarity between leaven and sun, and between leaven and the kingdom of God. Mazes are no different, and can provide numerous allegories to the Christian walk.have multiple similarities to there are numerous spiritual lessons that can be learned from them.
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Many of the spiritual applications from mazes come from comparing them to the Christian walk, which is constantly described as following a path, or finding the way through Jesus. For a maze, the solution is the ultimate goal, while glorifying and following God is the ultimate goal for Christians.
In a maze, the paths are often configured so that those which are easiest to follow with the eye lead to traps, while those which are difficult to follow with the eye –– or a pencil tip ––and take tricky zig-zags are chosen to lead to the solution. Matthew 7:13 reads, “…for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13). Just as described in this verse, in a maze, wide roads tend to lead to destruction, and narrow roads tend to lead to the solution, such as below:
Unlike maze crafters, though, God does not try to make it as hard as possible for us to come to Him. Probably no one would wish to attempt to solve a maze God created if He made it as difficult as He could!
When presented with a difficult maze, the most successful solvers are those who most persistently seek out the correct paths and willingly press on through the wide, straight, and easy paths as well as the narrow and twisty ones. In the same way, the people who find the most success in the journey to know God more are those who continue to press on and never abandon their undertaking, and who continue through both the easy and difficult circumstances their walk leads them through. Those difficult circumstances are not the same for all Christians, since we all have different mazes –– or, different circumstances in life, with different sets of available choices –– that we may be assigned, but what can be assured is that no matter what, not every pathway will connect Start and Finish: unless there is a mistake in the maze (which God never does, and I do quite regularly), the maze will have exactly one solution.
Unfortunately, backtracking is an option in both mazes and life that people tend to take for granted as a simple option. In both cases, however, it is usually a rather involved method of saving face. Say someone is trying to solve a maze, and he is using a pen, which is a touchy business. Then say he comes to a dead end. Oops. “What do I do?” he thinks. The line of non-erasable ink goes through a wrong turn, so there can’t be one nice solution drawn there. So, he responds by backtracking, which he does to convince himself that he has undone his mistake and he still has one solid line going straight through to the solution. Of course, backtracking on a maze looks ridiculous and does not help matters any more than starting over, but the consequences of trying to redo actions can be far worse in real life. If a man gets himself into a marriage to a woman who only married him for his money, and it disintegrates into a predictably nasty relationship, he might very much want to undo his action, and get a divorce to do so. Unfortunately, at that point it is too late to truly fix his situation, and his life will be ruined by either the divorce itself or the wife staying on. Thanks to God, though, we have been granted the ability and power of forgiveness through believing in His Son Jesus Christ!
This is my last article this year, probably the last I will write on the subject of mazes. It was my dream column for clay, and I really appreciate how many of you seem to have enjoyed it. Thank you for reading my articles on mazes this year, have a good summer, and may God bless you through it!