Tuesday, October 10th, 2023
Recently, my family and I went to a local corn maze. I am one for a good puzzle, but it’s usually the ones that sit on a table and you can see all the pieces. This maze was different. It’s not like the ones in my kid’s coloring books where you are looking from the top down and you can see all the paths and blockages. As we started, it quickly settled in that this was a real maze where we could only see as far as our path went straight, with numerous choices for turns and bends along the way. Before too long, I couldn’t help but see the spiritual significance of all of this. Our walk with God feels a lot like a maze. From God’s perspective it looks like a perfectly scripted journey that provides maximum growth and goodness to us and those around us. But from our more limited capacities sometimes it feels like we walk in circles or even take steps backwards way more than we would like. So, what’s the main difference? Let’s look at Hebrews 11:1:
11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Our faith is what determines our perspective in the maze of life. We are not supposed to know every detail, every bend or every loop along the way. If we did, we would have no reason to fervently seek or put our trust in God. We have to come to a place where whether we cannot see more than one step ahead, we see three options ahead or we feel like we don’t have any strength to move on that we continue to believe in the goodness of God and trust that He is with us and will show us exactly where to go and when. As I write I am getting a vision of us being so surrendered that we essentially sit still and let Him move the maze for us. That doesn’t mean that we never have a part to play and never have to step out in faith. It’s a shift in our mindset. It’s a simple act of being still and letting Him be God. It’s realizing that my running this race is more about submitting to Him than about my personal plans, tactics and conquests. When we think we are the ones that have to do all the planning and execution we often end up disappointed. On the converse, putting our faith in God will never leave us disappointed.
What about those days where our progress just doesn’t feel particularly successful? Instead of feeling like we missed the mark on a certain day, what if we had the faith to believe that whatever happened that day was exactly what was written in our book, the good, the bad and the mundane? The enemy wants us to feel that we didn’t live up to God’s expectations or that we never could. God never asked us to carry that burden. His yoke is easy. He desires simple devotion. If we are seeking Him, putting Him first and listening for His still small voice we will be exactly where we need to be. Not every day is a mountain top high or an evangelistic tent event. Some days it’s just loving on our kids and spouses. Some days it’s doing the laundry or mowing the yard. When we take care of what God has given us it’s worship and sweet incense to Him. Even on the days when we mess up, God is present then too. God will use any and every opportunity to pour his Fatherly blessings on us. The correction may seem painful, but if we let Him, He will use it to woo us deeper into His secure embrace. Some days may seem like we went in a great big loop not having accomplished much. Maybe God will use those days to instill a fresh measure of patience. A day that ends without a check mark is not a failure. Is it possible that’s just the way God scripted it? If we are putting God first and trusting Him to lead us at every step there should never be a day that feels like it was wasted. Let’s look at Hebrews 11:6:
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
The interesting thing about diligently seeking Him is that it’s not another stage of the maze we have to conquer or work harder at. It’s something we can do anywhere, wherever we make ourselves available to hear His voice.
Some of our greatest spiritual accomplishments probably won’t come from mastering various legs of the maze. They will most likely come from the quiet, still moments where we are completely surrendered to our Maker and letting Holy Spirit minister to and fill every part of our being. We often feel we have to do more in order to fix ourselves or prepare for what God wants to do next. We become the focus of our faith instead of the One that has never failed anyone, ever. Every day should have some level of “less of me and more of God”. Whether we accomplished some big task, met a new milestone or neither of the above, if we can say at the end of the day that we sought Him and listened for and acted upon His leading it will never be a wasted day. When God says my time in the maze is complete, I want to be able to say what it says in 2 Timothy 4:7:
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.