LABYRINTH OF LIFE
“…in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
// Colossians 2:3
I recently visited a museum and walked a garden labyrinth – a narrow, singular pathway of left and right turns, laid out by too-tall ficus trees. The maze-like path took about ten minutes to travel, the sea of green leaves eventually giving way to a beautiful center garden. Hidden from view among the winding pathways, the tallest tree in the labyrinth stood in the center, towering above the rest.
Unlike a maze, which is purposefully confusing and meant to misdirect the participant, a labyrinth is constructed in a way that asks the participant to trust the designer. While not necessarily knowing the whole of the path, nor exactly how many lefts and rights one will experience (indeed, one can only see what lies immediately in front), the participant senses that the designer is leading them in a purposeful direction.
In this verse from Colossians, the author Paul suggests to the reader that wisdom and knowledge are treasures to desire and cherish. These treasures are hidden in Christ – attained, as Paul continues later in the chapter, through receiving the gift of Christ, walking with Him, being rooted in Him and being built up in Him. Doing this leads to, in Paul’s words, “full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ" [Colossians 2:2].
Walking with Christ is not a maze. The Designer doesn’t desire to confuse or misdirect those who walk along His path. Instead, He asks that our trust and knowledge in Him grow as we walk along the path He has laid out, regardless of the twists and turns. Just like in a labyrinth, we might not exactly know where the path is going. Sometimes the hedges are too high to see over, other times it feels as if we’ve walked forever but haven’t yet reached the destination (as we perceive it).
Yet, deep within the center of the labyrinth of life, we reach a destination – that is, the rich and full assurance of knowledge of the goodness of God, revealed through the act of following the path His Son laid out for us. The Designer leads us towards a knowledge of Himself, and our faith is strengthened by taking steps down a path we don’t know, all the while trusting Him that the treasure awaits.
// Joel Eastlick