"I know how these things work", I thought to myself. I was so sure that I would quickly master this small fenced off puzzle that I strode off quickly and confidently.
Turn-by-turn I marched on with little regard for the twists and turns. Afteralll, I was a man on a mission! I knew where I was going! The exit was sure to be over in that far corner and I was confident I could get there without any trouble.
No dead-ends, no turn backs. Onward I strode, making a be-line for the exit. Sure enough I got over there with very little effort. I was on track. One last corner. "This must be it..."
But instead of an exit, I walked straight into a dead-end!
What had happened? Where did I go wrong? How could this be? I was sure of my strategy. What was I going to do now?
I stared at the wall for a moment. Disappointed, and a little despondent, I complained under my breath, "this was only meant to be a five minute thing". I didn't have a Plan B; no other ideas about where the exit might be. For a few moments I just wondered in the maze.
Dead-end after dead-end. Endless turning back. So pointless and demoralising.
Some music was playing on my phone. A song by Casting Crowns started up:
Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?
All of a sudden a little fantail appeared in front of me. He looked so playful and bright as he flittered and flapped at the edge of the maze.
My spiritual radar popped up, and with all the pious hope I could muster the thought emerged, "maybe this bird is here to show me the way"?
More words from the song rang out:
Still You hear me when I'm calling.
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling.
And You've told me who I am.
I am Yours
"Stupid bird!", I muttered, then rather more cynically, "stupid me for thinking God would send a bird to speak to me in the midst of a silly little maze".
Again I was wondering, hopeless and alone. I was out of ideas. I didn't know what to try next or where to turn.
Then, there it was again: "That bloomin' fantail. Back for more, huh? Don't you know when to just give up? Why must you taunt me so?"
Again he seemed playful and bright. This time his song was so joyful that it started to drown out the poison of my own thoughts.
A change. Something switched in my heart.
"Do you want me to dance?", I awkwardly asked the little fantail. Then the answer came deep in my heart. "Yes". My heart leapt for joy. A knowing grin filled my previously grim face. A deep sense of relief and freedom poured in where once there was despair.
Enjoy the moment. Be free. Nothing to worry about.
I continued through the maze with a new spring in my step and a joy in my heart
Still there were dead-ends; still plenty of turn backs, but that didn't seem to matter now.
Just then another Casting Crowns song began to play. In no time I was walking out of the maze echoeing the words:
"Let my life song sing to You. Let my life song sing to You"
What lessons one learns from a fantail in a maze.