The green, leafy, arched entrance isn’t elaborate: as some entrances aren’t. It looms over me and yet the wide expanses of choices excited my senses. To the left and to the right are corridors of every shape and size. Down some, there seem to be colors streaming from the leaves, catching my eye. And down others there are faint melodies that attract my curious ear.
But I notice that head on, straight out in front of me was strangest corridor. It is at first stare, darker than the others. There are cobwebs swinging in the stale breeze. It is narrower than the ones with colors and shorter than the ones with music. I’m not even sure I would fit, if I wanted to, that is.
So, my eye turns back to the corridor with the colors. Suddenly, they seem brighter. Are my eyes playing tricks? No! The colors dance and entrance, and I think…surely there are good things down this path. And before I know it, my small feet have started walking spryly down the colorful path.
It is lively for certain, full of life and vibrancy. Everywhere I turn, it seems like I am a part of a painting. This corridor is full of creativity. This was the right way to go, I think to myself. Suddenly I was skipping and laughing as if I was with friends.
But then I stopped. And I realized, I was alone.
At the beginning of the maze again.
Leafy arches, wide expanses and corridors. All over again.
Puzzled, I peer down the colorful corridor again. Hadn’t it been the most enjoyable way to go? How had it led me back here? I hadn’t even noticed. So, if the colors led me back here, I should choose a different corridor. Peering down another corridor, I hear the faint melodies again. There were relaxing and jazzy.
Maybe the music would help me think, and I wouldn’t get distracted by the colors and I’ll pay better attention, so I don’t end up back here. Yes, the music will lead me. So, I softly padded after the minor chords that even made the leaves seem to dance. It was calming and comfortable. I swayed and grooved as I pleased. It was just me and I enjoyed that.
But the music began to fade.
And the disappeared all together. I looked around befuddled.
I was at the beginning.
I begin to resent the wide expanse and leafy archway. I run wildly down every corridor I can. One winds around and around making me dizzy and I can’t tell where I am until I am at the beginning again. One has money protruding from the branches as if grew there, I go racing through, grasping as much as I could, stuffing it in my arms and pockets.
Only to find myself at the beginning…empty handed and empty pocketed.
I fall to my knees. And I cry. I just want to find the right way to go. I have made good choices, so I thought. But none of the paths lead me anywhere. They all just lead me right back here, staring straight at the one path that I have resisted. I consider it, but make excuses.
Surely I won’t fit.
Surely nothing productive or profitable is down there.
Surely the right path is an easy and fun path. Enjoyable? Right?
This one does not look like fun.
It is shorter that then others, but, then again I am already on my knees. I realize that is the only way to enter it…on my knees or crawling. It is narrower than the others, meaning that the path had to be more important than my vanity because I’d get scrapes and bruises most likely.
There are cobwebs like drapes from the corners, as if this path is hardly ever used. Probably for good reason, I think.
I am tired. So tired I can’t remember if I am hungry, but more than that I am tired of chasing all the wrong things. I am tired of all my efforts being worthless and exhausting.
I begin crawling.
Once I am past the threshold of the corridor, it expands. Standing up to my full height, I look around confused. Why is it so small if what lies beyond is so vast. As I take in the scene of what I am standing in, I see that some of the branches extending past the brush line, aren’t branches at all. They are hands and arms.
There are people in the bushes! Hurrying over to my right, I see that they are trapped in amongst the bushes. They cry out to me to free them. I begin to rip the vines and branches away from them, tearing at the leaves as thorns tear at my arms and my flesh. As I free them, we embrace. I search frantically for a safe place to lead them to.
And a vast illumination grows so bright at the end of the tunnel, it is blinding. I carry them toward the light and assure them that if they stay in the light, they will be safe.
The Light is the warmest feeling in my heart and the coolest feeling on my skin. It makes my mind soar and fly. I know someday I will be able to just stand and bask in that light but right now, I know I had to go back and free the others.
One by one, I free them from their natural bondage and usher them into the light. When the last one joins the others I look back toward the tiny entrance. Suddenly from deep in my stomach; I know I wanted others to know. This isn’t just my labyrinth. Others will come this way, and waste time and precious life chasing all the wrong paths. I needed to let them know.
I had nothing.
How will I let them know? The path is destroyed by all the fallen limbs and vines. My arms and face are tinted with my own blood.
Then I knew how.
I scramble to find the largest limb. I pull the bark back to reveal a smooth limb. I run a finger down my arm and collected blood on my fingertip. And then I write a message.
When I am done, I run back to the entrance and squeeze the limb back through. The limb now lies at the foot of the path and it will show others the way. Written with my blood and sacrifice, a message of hope.
“Truth, Freedom and Light: THIS IS THE ONLY WAY!”
And it is the only way.
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”
(A dream, an Analogy and A Calling by Megan Meredith)
(K. Hare and KP. David Bowie is just for you.)