It's Straight...and It's Narrow

 

There was a period—several years ago now—when the ultimate spiritual enlightenment was supposed to be found in a 'maze' of all things.  

I know that probably sounds ridiculous to you, who know your Scriptures so well; but even to this day a lot of people still take 'mazes' very seriously; especially up in the San Francisco Bay area, which...well...forgive my regional prejudice, but why am I not surprised at that? 

When the 'mysterious' Sibley Mazes appeared up in Oakland a couple of decades ago, the 'maze' became all the rage. 

These particular mazes showed up in the Sibley Volcanic Preserve, which is a special part of Oakland's East Bay Park. Rangers in the park discovered them back in the 1980's—just rocks arranged in a pattern on the ground—and since nobody knows who put the mazes there—well I know who put them there: a bunch of eccentric bohemians back in the 1980's. But since nobody saw them do it—let's put it that way—or knew who they were specifically, well the Sibley Mazes became very 'mysterious'! They've been a sort of 'mecca' ever since, for people in search of a spiritual experience. 

New-agers and mystics hike up into the park to see the mazes—more specifically, to walk the mazes, in hopes of finding inner peace and spiritual enlightenment. At the centers of these labyrinths, people have built little altars—little piles of volcanic rock where they leave mementoes of their spiritual 'arrival': letters, coins, trinkets, hand-written messages, poems, an incense stick, a tarot card, even a little toy doll from time to time: all placed there as little shrines to their own enlightenment. 

Back in 1999, the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article about the fad, infusing the subject with as much intrigue as possible. "Spooky and Spiritual," the headline read, with the following subtext: "No One Knows Who Carved Mysterious Mazes in East Bay Park". The article quoted one hiker, Beth Elliot, who saw one of the mazes only after walking past it unaware several times: "I finally looked over the top of a volcanic cliff and there it was! It was incredibly stunning! It was breathtaking!" 

She now comes regularly to 'worship' at the mazes. 

Sabina Magliocco was another devout follower of the Sibley Mazes. A professor of Anthropology at Cal State Northridge, she claimed that the mazes have a compelling attraction: "People come for their own personal journey," she told the Chronicle in the same article. "There's a great sense of serenity and mystery to be found while walking the mazes." She actually admitted that the Sibley Mazes were "becoming the birthplace of a new folklore; a new religion". 

certainly believe she was right. 

You know? It's amazing how desperate even the most hardened intellectuals can become, once they decide that they need some 'serenity'. When they finally come to realize that they need a little hope; they need some purpose and meaning to life; a sense of belonging to something greater than the temporal things around them, well...it's amazing what they'll resort to! 

And can you think of anything more ironic than the fact that what the world makes them do is walk in circles to achieve it? Around and around in a maze they go!  Isn't it...well, literally a-mazing, that this world, so bereft of the Truth, has only a maze to offer? 

How utterly refreshing is the message of God's Word! "Go right straight through the narrow door," Jesus sternly commanded us, remember? (Lk 13: 24) "Don't look back! Let nothing hinder you. Let no one stop you. Strive to enter the narrow door." 

That, dear ones, is the 'way' for you! it is straight, and it is narrow! But it will bring enlightenment; it will bring serenity. And the last thing in the world God wants you to do is to walk around in circles getting caught up in the world's 'mazes'! 

God bless you dear faithful OT; for your love of the Savior; for your love for His Word. You need nothing else! You don't need the trends and the fads of our culture. You don't the latest religious movement. You don't even need popular Christian best-sellers!  No, no! You need The Bible! This mighty Sword of the Spirit; this "lamp" that "lights" your feet along the way, as you follow the straight and narrow path.

I know you agree; that's why you come every Sunday. Right? 

See you this!                                    RAS

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