Today The Man of my Dreams took of work, and our family headed to a pumpkin patch about an hour from here. Today was homeschool day, and they were open from 10-2. We were there the whole time. Need I say we had an absolute ball?
I watched my children run, climb, and laugh. We wandered through mazes, slid down a 100 ft. slide (very bumpy but FUN!), and enjoyed a hayride. The three-story treehouse was a huge hit, too. Even the adults were enthralled. And, we got to roast marshmallows over an open fire. Does it get any better than that?
We even brought home pumpkins. Three are bound for decoration, and one is bound for pumpkin desserts.
It was a glorious day, and I am thankful to have experienced it.
Oddly, the favorite part was one particular maze. It was made of tall wooden panels that twisted and turned to make halls that twisted back on themselves. As we were going in, we met a mom who had gotten lost and had returned to the beginning because the end was too hard to find. Still, we ventured in with anticipation of dead ends, backtracking, laughter, and eventually making it to the other side. We were not disappointed.
At dead ends we laughed. When another turn led us into more open area, we cheered. When a panel stood in our way, we were somtimes confused or frustrated, but we kept going. We knew somewhere in those winding passages was the other side, and we found the challenge of finding it exciting.
Some folks didn't enjoy the maze. They tried to get through, and when they couldn't they'd go to the tower and look down to find the path. Then they simply walked from one side to the other, proud of themselves for not guessing or getting things wrong. Some folks would stand on the tower and call down to the folks below, giving instructions on how to get out. Sometimes they made some missteps, but for the most part, they did okay. At least, no one was still missing when we left.
Life is a lot like that maze.
It has open areas, twists and turns, and dead ends, but on the other side of the confusion is a big open place where there is freedom. For some folks, the challenge seems too big, so they try to escape. It doesn't make the maze go away, though.
And then there are those who simply wander, figuring if they wander enough they'll find the way out. Sometimes that works, and sometimes they simply end up where they started.
And then there are those who listen to the voice who sees the bigger picture, the one who says, "Yep, there's a maze, but I know how get to get you through safe and sound." Those people had the same maze, but they moved through far more eaily and with much more confidence. They knew where they were going, and they got there.
In mazes, that might seem light cheating, but in life, it is wisdom. In fact, that is the joy of knowing the Lord and listening to His voice.
Knowing God and listening to His voice does not remove the maze. There are still deadends, changes of course, and questions. He never said He would remove the maze or that the way would be made clear before us. However, He did say if we listen and obey, He'll get us where we need to go, all the way to the end.