Have you ever been in a situation that you were heading into blindly? You didn’t really know what to expect, or what obstacles may lay ahead of you. Perhaps you experienced this with a group of friends in a purposeful trust building exercise. An exercise in which the group is blind folded and led around by one or two others who are the only ones that can see.
If you have, you may know that these situations can be scary. You may have traveled the same path hundreds of times before, but now it’s different. Unknown obstacles may pop up at any moment that can hinder your success of making it from point A to B without suffering personal injury or stress.
Your successful pass depends on the careful words of your guide to steer you clear of all the obstacles that lie in your path. Without the watchful eye of your guide, your chance of running into trees, tripping on curbs or falling into ditches increases with each subsequent step. The time it takes to traverse that distance also increases as you must spend more time identifying potential obstacles by touch before proceeding.
When a group of my friends participated in an activity like the one I just described, we were led to a rope maze and placed at different points along the rope. We were simply told to follow the rope until it ends, and then we are done. The only rules were that we couldn’t talk, and if we needed help, to raise our hands. Along this maze were logs to climb over, large piles of dirt to climb and low hanging branches that knocked you in the head if you weren’t careful.
Much of the group went around this course many times, not realizing that it was a continuous circle. The only way to end was to get over your pride and be willing to ask for help. When you did this, the leader would come get you and lead you to the center of the course after taking your blindfold off.
Having finished quickly myself due to loosing track of the rope around an obstacle, I got to witness the rest of my friends struggling to find the end. Many members of the group probably went around the circle a couple dozen times, taking well over an hour to finally give in and ask for help. They were determined to finish on their own. They heard as others “found the way out”, but they didn’t know it was because those people raised their hand and were guided off the course.
Watching them, you knew that they were getting frustrated. Many of them closely examining the knots in the rope and recognizing the same obstacles over and over again. They knew they were going in circles, but they persisted out of pride, or thinking that maybe they were missing something. To them, asking for help meant defeat.
Unfortunately, this is how many of us live our lives. We may have our eyes opened, but we walk blindly. Much of our time is spent stumbling through obstacles that we could have avoided if we sought help from the beginning. Sometimes we continue to make the same mistakes so often that we start to recognize the pattern of destruction but continue to do the same thing anyway.
We all encounter many obstacles and stumbling blocks that make “staying on the path” really difficult. But we continue on, refusing to ask for help. We believe we are strong enough to figure life out on our own, but we are not. We may try asking for help amongst our peers, but they are struggling just as much as we are, so we move on. Sometimes obstacles smack us right in the face, others just slow us down a bit, but they all keep us from reaching our finish line. We don’t want to follow the same path of destruction for the rest of our lives, but many of us do.
New people join the maze of life constantly. Some figure it out quicker than others, but most continue to struggle out of pride. They begin to realize their life is going nowhere, but they keep doing the same things over and over, hoping for a change. They refuse to admit they are weak and incapable of doing life on their own. They reach high and low, trying to get off the path they are on, but they feel stuck. They know they are going in circles and getting nowhere fast. But they continue on hoping the way out will just appear.
“Why won’t you just ask for help?” God ask. “I’m here to help you. Do not be afraid.”
All we have to do is ask for help. Sometimes just a little prayer can be the answer. God wants to pull us to safety, lead us to the right path of freedom, pick us up if we fall, and to steer us clear of potentially dangerous situations. He wants to open our eyes to be free. He wants us to see the results of trying to tackle our lives on our own, you just have to listen.
Do not be afraid to ask God for help. That is what He is there for. He is your guide. It’s up to you whether or not you want to follow Him. We’ve got to stop trying to figure out life on our own and stop living blindly. Listen to the voice of reason as your successful pass depends on the careful words of God to steer you clear of all the obstacles that lie in your path. Through prayer and reading the Word, Jesus will help you through the challenging paths that lie ahead of you.