My family has had exciting times lately. We’ve prevented a prison escape. Thwarted a bio-terror pandemic. Shut down an evil self-aware computer. Proved our mettle to Sherlock Holmes. Defeated an ancient curse.
We’ve discovered escape rooms.
Have you tried one of these yet? The idea is that your group is “locked” in a room with a set period of time to solve the puzzle or mystery in order to escape. The group breaks codes, solves conundrums, figures out locks, pores over clues. Once you have gotten everything right, you have escaped. All is well, disaster is averted, and the happy crew gets their picture taken for the wall of fame.
If only life were like this.
If only we could just figure it out, and then everything would be great. Just follow the steps, keep the rules, be smart enough, fast enough, focused enough.
Oh, we try. We read articles about “Five things that will help you live longer” (but what if there is a car crash?) or “Ten activities that will help your child excel in school” (but what if there is a learning disability?). We read books about how to keep romance alive in our marriages (but what if there is a painfully broken childhood that is still unhealed?). We attend workshops to help us succeed in our careers (but what if the economy takes a nose dive and the company fails?).
We want so much to believe that ABC always leads to D. But life is not a puzzle that can be solved. It is a path to be walked, through mess, beauty, danger, birdsong, exhaustion, exhilaration.
In loving someone with a mental illness, I’ve learned that people issues cannot be solved. My son is not a conundrum to be dissected until the answer is found. He is a person who needs to walk his own path with the challenges particular to him. I can support and help and guide.
As for escape, well, that mystery is already revealed.
Love has triumphed.
“Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:51-57