The challenges you face are always worth overcoming once you reach the destination.
I was eating breakfast with my kids the other day when my son started expressing his concerns about going to a new school. He said he didn’t want to leave me all day and that he was nervous about being around a lot of new people. Understandable, right? Most kids experience at least a little trepidation, even if they don’t necessarily admit it.
I had given him the fall-back answers. “It will be okay,” and “you will meet lots of nice, new people” were my words of choice.
Unfortunately, those kinds of answers no longer work for my son, and I needed to come up with something a little more insightful.
I happened to notice there was a maze on the back of the cereal box when something came to me.
I asked if he wanted to try it.
He crunched on his cereal looking disinterested and milk dribbled out of his mouth when he opened his mouth to reply. “It looks hard.”
“Well,” I answered, “if you go the wrong way, you can erase it, go back to where you were, and try another way. You’ll find the end.”
“Where do I start?”
I pointed to the opening and he slid his pencil around the bends, his brow furrowed in that look of concentration I’ve come to know so well. Twice, he hesitated, looking ahead at the twists and turns, then moving forward until he reached the end.
“See!” I said, “You did it.”
He nodded and set the box and pen down in his nonchalant way, as if he knew he could do it all along.
But I wasn’t done yet.
“You know how at first, you felt like you might get lost in the maze, and not find the end?” I asked.
“Well, it’s kind of the same with school. You’re nervous about going to a new place and meeting new people, but once you find your way around, you’ll be comfortable. After a while, you’ll probably really like it.”
Yes, the “okay” was all I got. But I saw a hint of understanding in those eyes, so hopefully I planted a seed of hope.
I’m going through a maze of my own at the moment, as we all are, and am feeling a bit overwhelmed with the “business” aspect of my job. Like most authors, I would prefer to hover over my computer, developing new worlds and new characters, creating scenes, and getting lost in the alternate universe of fiction. Queries and platforms, coding and contracts: it’s an unfamiliar landscape that has pushed me out of my comfort zone and down paths that seem to intersect a thousand times over. But it’s my maze, and God will help me find the right direction.
Sometimes, we look at our lives and everyday tasks seem completely overwhelming, the challenges too much to cope with. Looking at our choices from our vantage point down in the tunnels of the maze can seem daunting. When we allow God to speak, he can share His view from above and give us direction. Sometimes it’s left, other times right. Our least favorite tends to be the times He tells us to backtrack and try again. But in the end, we reach our goal, whether it’s finding a publisher, making a friend in school, earning a promotion, or reaching the end of the maze. And the satisfaction makes the twists and turns, doubts and frustrations, completely worth it.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.