Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Labyrinth: A Walk with God

Well, today I began work on the labyrinth at Living Word. After a couple hours in the sun we have 12 concentric circles painted in the grass, but it's recognizable as a labyrinth. The neighbor came over to check things out and is very excited about having a labyrinth next door.

So, why a labyrinth? I got turned on to labyrinths at my first call theological education (FCTE) event--so turned on, in fact, that I have acquired several in many forms and sizes, and took a workshop to learn how to create them. A labyrinth is different from a maze in that it is one continuous path. There are no choices to make about which direction to go; once you're on the labyrinth, you just keep walking to the center. There are many metaphors for life on this simple circular path: sometimes you think you're headed one direction and end up turning 180 degrees. Sometimes a partner is walking parallel to you, then someone turns and you're going in opposite directions. You think you know how to get to God, but the way is longer or in another direction than you thought.

Some people do well to sit and pray quietly by themselves. I can do the quiet and the praying; it's the sitting I have trouble with. A labyrinth allows my body to be occupied so my mind can focus, much like rosary beads or knitting needles do. I don't have to focus on walking, and since my body is occupied, my head and heart can focus. In this way I pray, and since I have been known to take an entire hour to walk a full sized labyrinth, I even have time to listen (which is the better part of prayer).

The labyrinth at Living Word will be open to the public after Holy Week. If the gate's open, so is the labyrinth. We'll be developing the area around it with some plantings and landscaping, but when the basic form is ready, please come walk! (And in the next week, if you have some time, come and set some rocks in place to finish it!)

May you be blessed by some time walking with the Holy One.