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Is life amazing or just a maze? spiritual wisdom logo

In the newspaper recently there was an article about a maze cut out of a field of maize. Apparently mazes made of maize have become quite popular since they grow very quickly. By contrast the world famous Hampton Court Palace Maze was planted in 1690. Covering over a third of an acre its yew hedges are 7' high and 3' wide.

maze of lifeGoing round a properly built maze can be a quite challenging and frustrating experience. Firstly you cannot see where you are going, you simply have a vague idea of the place you are aiming for. The next problem is that you keep going down paths that seem all right at the time but in fact turn out to be dead ends.

Don’t you feel that life sometimes seems like a maze? There are all sorts of opportunities presented to us and so many different paths we can take and yet we have only a vague idea of where we are trying to get to. You might be starting out on a career but are unsure of what you really want to do. You have difficulty getting a job and then it doesn’t work out and you have to start all over. Or you could be at the stage where you have a young family. How should you bring up the children? There are so many mistakes that are easy to make and experience comes slowly. And much later in life there are further challenges brought about by increasing age. Do you maintain your independence or do you let others increasingly care for you?

In all areas of life there are new paths to be taken but do we have the wisdom to choose the right one?

Sometimes the problems of the maze of life are so difficult that we feel frustrated and trapped by our circumstances with no obvious way out ahead and we lose our way. And the maze of life affects us not just at the physical level but also at the deeper spiritual level of thoughts and feelings. We are constantly bombard with all kinds of ideas of what life is really about and how it should be lived but which pattern of living will lead us in the right direction?

To sort out the maze of life we need two things. Firstly a clear idea of where we are trying to get to and secondly a map of how to get there. Jesus had a lot to say on this subject. For example in John’s gospel we can read:

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”. John 10:10

The clear message here is that life is amazing with many opportunities and should be lived to the full. Elsewhere in Matthew’s gospel we can also read:

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:31,33

Jesus is telling us that whatever is happening around us, whatever the problems of life that we face, our aim should be to “seek first the kingdom of God”. We can build this “kingdom of God” within us as we put others first and ourselves second. This heaven is not a place to be reached but a spiritual state to be achieved through loving others and serving their needs.

We need a clear target to reach but we also need rules of life to guide and direct us and help us make the right decisions in life. And these rules are best embodied in the Ten Commandments. But Jesus showed that these Ten could be distilled down to Two Great Commandments:

“Love God and love your neighbour as yourself”

Fundamentally it is love that should guide us in life. We need to “seek first the kingdom of God” by putting our love for God and our neighbour into action. However complex and difficult the maze of life becomes we need to put our trust in this approach to living as the best way to fulfil the amazing life we have been offered and to cope with all the adversities we daily face.

 

It should be recognized that Divine providence is overall, that is, it is present within the smallest details of all, and that people in the stream of providence are being carried along constantly towards happier things, whatever appearance the means may present. Those in the stream of providence are people who trust in the Divine and ascribe everything to Him.  

Emanuel Swedenborg

I believe God is managing affairs and that He doesn't need any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about.   Henry Ford

 

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