Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The fist time I walked a labyrinth was in Seminary. I think it was for a class I was taking probably on Spirituality. I don’t remember much of anything about that first experience. Without me realizing God planted a seed in me that day. That seed has grown into a love of walking and experiencing labyrinths. Since that first time years ago I have walked many labyrinths. I have walked indoor labyrinths and outdoor ones in a variety of settings. I have walked alone and with others. I have even used finger labyrinths. My favorite is walking an outdoor labyrinth alone because I can focus on me and my walk with God. I don’t have to worry about what other people think or do.
What is a labyrinth? A labyrinth is an ancient meditation tool. It is a singular, usually circular path, that is used for prayer and meditation. Labyrinths can be found all over the world.
What is it about walking a labyrinth that is so special? Well, for one the experience is different for everyone. We all experience God’s presence in different ways and at different times. This is why it is important to remember there is no “right way” to walk a labyrinth. Some people like to walk it slowly repeating a phrase over and over, others like to pray one prayer in and another one on the way out, others like to have their eyes wide open and bask in the beauty around them, and children love to run the path. Another reason labyrinth walking is special is that it uses the entire body. The whole body is involved in the prayer or mediation.
I have one labyrinth experience that sticks out in my mind that I’d like to share with you. Barb VanLoenen and I had decided to drive into St. Paul to walk the labyrinth at St. Kates. When we arrived we headed on to campus to find the labyrinth. We walked for close to 15 minutes looking for the labyrinth. We finally found it after realizing we had walked passed it at least once already! As I started to walk I began to reflect on the twists and turns of the path I was walking. I kept thinking I was getting closer to the center but then the path would turn outward. I began to reflect on how walking the labyrinth is a lot like my life and my relationship with God. My life and my relationship with God takes many twists and turns. There are times I feel far from God or lost in the maze of life. There are other times when I know I am on the “right” path and feel close to God. As it turns out like the labyrinth there is only one path our lives take we never really fall off the path instead our path may take us in a direction we were not expecting. This is what I experienced that particular day of labyrinth walking and it made an impact on how I view my life and the lives of those around me.
If you want to learn more about labyrinths you can visit the Labyrinth Society website or the Paths of Peace website. Paths of Peace is the website of Lisa Moriarty designer of FPC labyrinth.
I encourage you to take some time to walk or wheel our beautiful labyrinth!