This post appeared in the religion column of our local paper recently. You can also listen to it as a podcast here: https://anchor.fm/teague-mckamey/episodes/Navigating-the-Mirror-Maze-e1m7hu4
Human experience is a bit like a funhouse mirror-maze: I’m trying to find my way while surrounded by my reflection. Every one of my images is a wall. None can offer me forward progress or exit. Christianity makes a similar diagnosis: the problem is self. My problem is me.
These days, self is touted as the path to freedom. We work on self-image using self-help. Every other movie tells us to believe in ourselves. “You do you” is today’s mantra. We even have a magazine called “Self.” Agent Smith, the self-replicating virus in “The Matrix,” could be our poster boy when he says, “Me, me, me” and is answered by one of his copies: “Me too!”
How do I get out of this mirror-maze? I need to look away from the mirror, away from my own image, and put my eyes on the walkway. If I look there, I’ll find my way to freedom.
Jesus put it this way: “If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it” (Luke 9:23-24). Freedom is found as I look away from myself and to Jesus. He is the way (John 14:6).