As a young child, one of my regular activities was that of occupying myself in the chiropractor’s waiting room. My favorite waiting room was the one in Holbrook, AZ – that office had a small trampoline!! The normal waiting room experience, however, was far more passively endured: books that told me what I was made of as opposed to little girls, games of bent, colored wires and beads that ran along them; and of course, the ever-present Children’s Place magazine full of crossword puzzles, mismatched pictures and mazes.
I learned early of the folly of using an ink pen from my father’s over-flowing front shirt-pocket instead of a pencil. I would invariably prove myself a fool over and over again by making permanent marks along the wrong courses of the maze. as I got older and wiser, I would solve the mazes with a pencil (not to mention its eraser). This was of course, until that fateful day when I tried to do a maze backwards. Why hadn’t someone told me how much easier a maze is when one begins at the end, and makes decisions based upon that end of the puzzle? The pencil could go back to the bottom of my mother’s purse, and my dad’s red, ink pen was resurrected; and the speed, oh the speed with which my decisions were made!
In this way, life is a maze: if you are simply plodding along, hoping to find your way through to the other side, making decisions based upon whim and percentages – the last three times I went left, so this time I’ll go right – life doesn’t make a lot of sense, and we find ourselves having made a lot of permanent decisions that must be painfully retraced; but when we begin with the end firmly fixed, our decisions flow naturally out of the only way to achieve that end.
There are so many possible applications of this Maze principle, but let me make one, and you can make another if you so choose: eternity. It doesn’t get much more “end-game” than that. This is the perspective on life that Jesus had. This is why he could say, “you must lose your life to save it.”, “take up your cross and follow me.” and, “this one thing you lack, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and come follow me.” All of these decisions make no sense whatsoever…if you are looking at this life – but if you begin with the end in mind as the maze principle (and Stephen R. Covey) suggests, it makes perfect sense. Lose a dollar, gain a fortune! Give for a while, gain forever! Suffer now, no suffering for all eternity! These are simple choices. Of course! Sign me up…but only when I start from where I want to end up.
Where do you want to end up?