Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Mazes have a history spanning thousands of years. The first mazes actually were more like labyrinths, developed in Egypt in the 5th century BC. Intrigued by these designs, mazes and labyrinths were developed by other cultures.

Greeks became experts at creating elaborate labyrinths. In the Roman Empire, labyrinths were assumed to be symbols of protection and part of their religious rituals.

These became important symbols for Christians within the Empire. They could be found painted on the floors and walls of enclaves. While the exact meaning is not known, it has been speculated that the paths of labyrinths were a symbol of the Christian life.

Others feel that the labyrinths were meant to depict how our lives can become entangled by sin. Others suggest that labyrinths were used to create a sort of “mini-pilgrimage,” a journey of purification believers might take after committing some sin.

There were many other uses throughout the world. Fishermen in Scandinavia were known to walk through labyrinths before going to sea, believing that this ensured safety and an abundant catch. In Germany, young men walked through labyrinths as part of their maturation ceremonies.

During the Middle Ages, labyrinths increasingly became subjects of amusements. As kings and queens built elaborate gardens, they would often include some sort of hedge maze as a conversation piece or diversion.

Today, mazes still provide pleasant amusement for many. But for others they symbolize the knotty problems of life. A journey that involves twists and turns, surprises and unexpected encounters.

These perspectives particularly emerge at the beginning of a new year. Gazing into a murky future, we don’t know what lies ahead. Like labyrinths, our journey can seem twisting and meandering, leading to uncertain destinations.

This is a reminder that God knows the future. That we need to trust our lives to Him. Obey Him. And seek His wisdom.