In the Corn Maze of Life

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Halloween is almost here and since it falls in the middle of the week this year, a lot of events of the season occurred over this weekend. It was a glorious day here in South Jersey and I felt the urge to spend some time outside in a corn maze! Have you ever been? It was a lot of fun, even without any partners in crime, and while wandering around looking for the clues to some questions posed at the entrance, and just generally enjoying the sunshine, the country music, and the sound of the corn stalks rustling in the breeze, my thoughts spun in my head.

As I entered the maze I made an almost unconscious decision to make my way around the outside, always keeping the grass on the other side of a couple rows of corn stalks in view. While assiduously avoiding the plunge into the middle, it occurred to me that my strategy in the maze mirrored my strategy or path in life-always staying on the outside, ready for an easy escape, never venturing too far inside the maze that is life. Although I don’t think my friends and family would agree with me, I consider myself really very risk-adverse. I hardly ever do anything completely spontaneously, and I always try to have a ready exit just in case I need it (well besides the golden work cage I still struggle in, but that’s for money! still looking for an exit out of that one). I had to smile to myself when I realized that the maze was a microcosm of life. I wonder if the parents taking their kids around realized the significance of their approach to this Halloween tradition. Were they carefully keeping track of downed stalks and errant corn cobs to find their way around? Did the kids race ahead willy-nilly or did they ponder the route?

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As for me-well I learned some things while in the maze that I want to share with you. Are you like me-always keeping to the outside; never diving in where the water’s deep? It is time for us to take the plunge into the heart of that maze we call life. After all, we are here to learn and teach. Think of all we miss because of fear!

It gets frustrating sometimes to retrace our steps again and again, running over the same old ground, but is there a reason? Did we miss something the first, second, or even third time? What is the lesson-time to think, pay attention, and learn.

How about those dead ends? Disappointing, right? Maybe they give us time to stop and reconsider; are we on the wrong path? Are we chasing something that isn’t meant to be? Take a deep breath and reconnoiter, then turn around and make your way out. What’s next? Just keep walking.

The maze required me to take lots of detours to get where I wanted to go. I could hear the music and faintly see the exit through the stalks, but no direct path appeared before me. Hah-so much like life! That meandering path is in front of us for a reason-the quickest way from a to b may be a straight line, but what do we miss along the way?

It is true that all who wander are not lost. Now of course we all have obligations and responsibilities in our lives that we fulfill out of love, duty, or a combination of the two, but along the way, make some time to wander a bit and smell the roses as they say. Get the most out of the journey, cause there’s only one way out!

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Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your stories from the corn maze, literally or figuratively!

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