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I saw “maze” and I thought “life”. There’s a beginning and an end, but how you get from A to B is quite unknowable and often unpredictable.

Who hasn’t had a plan for life, a blue print, goals and visions for the future? Some people are more laid back, and take life as it comes, but many more have definite ideas about what they want “from” life, and how they want things to move along.

Life is like a maze. You start out thinking “this will be fun.” You set off confidently sure you will emerge victorious. You will find your way out. After hitting dead ends, realizing you’ve lost all sense of direction, getting hot and frustrated, tripping over a root, and getting hit in the face with an errant branch, you begin to wonder why you thought this would be an adventure.

Anyone who’s lived a while knows that life can run contrary to one’s plans. It happens; you react. You make bad decisions, you have regrets, you say or do the wrong thing, you hurt people you love. You’re learning, maturing, and figuring out that your best intentions do not always have the best outcomes. You move on, wiser for your experiences, even if bruised.

Life intervenes without your permission. A loved one dies; an illness short-circuits your plans; your spouse cheats on you; children come when unplanned, or don’t come when desired; you begin to realize that your life is not what you had planned.

Practice does not make perfect, but it does impart wisdom if we learn to deal with life on life’s terms. This means accepting that you are not in charge — but you do have responsibility for how you deal with life’s bad blows.

I have a friend who has had a recurrence of her cancer, badly, yet she has not lost her sense of humor. She knows this is one of life’s hardships and continues to live each day to the best of her ability, knowing that life is precious and to be lived. We all have only one day, and getting through it will grace, acceptance and a realization that it is how we react, how we get through the maze with dignity and perseverance, is what life is all about.

Dr. Scott Peck, writes at the beginning of his book, The Road Less Traveled, “Life is hard.” Yes, it is, but finding joy and the true meaning of life makes it worth living. What life brings us, may be better, deeper, and more fulfilling than what we had planned.