I saw “Maze Runners” recently. It was an ok movie, but it really got me thinking. In the movie, several guys are trapped in a park in the middle of the maze. They have created a society within the maze and have been mapping out the maze for several years. A select few are chosen to be maze runners. The trick is that the maze changes every night, amidst horrifying noises. Near the end of the movie, we discover they have mapped out the entire maze and its various changes. They think they have discovered there is no way out of the maze, but have made the decision not to tell the others for fear of stealing hope.
It hit me this weekend, the movie is an allegory for my life. I was placed in the middle of a maze. Periodically, I add new facets to who I am. Together we have made a society. I have the runners, the enforcers, the scared boys. I have boys that rail against the system and ones who meekly keep working. There are boys who seek the bigger answer and those that are content to trudge along. In the movie, and in my heart, there is a time that a new facet arrives. He is different. He thins different, he is inspired by some different knowledge of a greater force. He resolves to figure a different solution.
However, before that. I imagine when there was just one person, who even a few. The decision to venture into the shifting maze would have been a tough one. In the movie, at night creatures arrive at nightfall as the entrance to the maze closes. Occasionally, someone is exiled to the maze at dark or gets trapped there. I imagine being the first one to be caught there. The darkness falls and the noises continue. You see the creature and run. Dead-ends and moving walls make it harder to hide. The terror and bewilderment begin to close in and panic ensues. I have felt like that rat, ramming my head against a wall again and again. I was afraid and confused. I was separated from any potential goal and just trying to survive. The creatures claimed part of me that night too.
I have felt like the boy consigned to be a hanger-on. I never ventured into the maze, figuring I deserved the isolation and disorientation. I pretended it was all going to be just fine living inside. I ached for the outside despite not remembering what it was.
I have been the warrior, bound by the rules. I held strict guidelines, never to be broken. I did the right things, said the right things. More to protect me from myself than the outside world. I wouldn’t leave the maze either, unless to enforce some rules.
I have been the maze runners. I see the changes. As I think I figure out my maze, my consciousness, it changes. As soon as I know a turn or twist, it morphs into something else. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who I was. As I captured it, it changed. Walls and barriers shifted. Heart delighted, and heart defeated. Running from the creatures of the night, feeling brave and triumphant during the day. I was as confused then as any other time.
I have been the new person, unconcerned with the shift. Seeing the maze as one overall picture, rather than pieces to be explored. I confronted and defeated the creature. I used that experience to forge ahead and develop a plan. I returned to myself and took the braver parts with me. I found a way out of them maze.
Like a rat picked up from the cheese, I longed at times to return to the familiar. The force lifted me above the maze and I could see what it was. I was not to be in the maze. It isn’t the plan for me. It was a self created barrier. I thought it kept me safe from the world, but it was my prison. The creatures, the shifting walls, I designed to keep others out. I saw it now, and I thought I was free.
Another force announced there would be another test. I have more to learn, more to face, more to love.