Finding Love in a Frightening World*


Today’s world is like a corn maze.


If you’ve ever made your way through such a maze, which one finds more available to try this time of year, then you’ll know the feeling.

It’s easy to get lost.


The corn is too tall to see over. You may decide to keep going forward because, after all, that’s that it is all about. If you’re playing the game, so to speak, you may as well play to win. Going back to the beginning is for losers!


It’s all about making decisions. Yet, the trouble with those decisions is that you have little information to go on. Turn left or right? And then go how far before taking the next turn?


A corn maze is more fun when there are other people out there in the same field plodding their own way through to the end goal. But those people, you find out, aren’t always the most reliable. You hear their voices or laughter off to the right and so you turn the corner to follow in their direction. Only to meet them coming back your way saying “we’re lost! There’s no way out going that way!”


Now what?


A corn maze is an apt metaphor for today’s world of tough decisions. We can see where we’re going up to a point. Going backward doesn’t seem like a viable option. Yet, going forward just means an eventual dead end if we don’t make a turn.


Which turn to make in today’s world is the obvious question. Information can easily be misinformation.


Then what?


If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion, here’s what I’d say. Don’t go it alone.

Getting lost is nearly inevitable if it’s a good field of tall corn, and if the designer took time to figure out the right amount of dead ends to confuse anyone and everyone. But getting lost isn’t really scary is you’re with enough other lost people too busy laughing and talking, and walking, to even feel afraid. Being among other lost people can turn out to be a lot of fun, and finding the actual exit can be a lot more exhilarating when in the company of others.


That’s life.


And that’s love.


Love is what we find when we find others wandering and wondering among the same tall corn where decisions are inexact and directions are uncertain. Love is what we find when we’re so turned around that we wouldn’t know the exit from the entrance, and would welcome either one with rejoicing after awhile. Love is what we find when somehow the destination is less important that the journey itself. Love is what we have when we’re not alone in that journey.


It’s worth finding.


And it’s worth finding a church for. Because this, my friends, is what church is all about if following the Jesus disciple-tradition. It's finding other folks to hang out with who admit to being lost themselves. It’s finding out that we really are all in this thing together. This thing we may otherwise call today’s scary world. This world that’s not so terribly different than being in an October corn maze.


*If any of this resonates, email me at danheldlisw@gmail.com and I’ll ship you my book, “Redeeming Gethsemane: when our age of loneliness meets a woke church.” I’ll trust you to pay me later after you receive it.

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