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Sunday, February 05, 2006

walking the labyrinth

Recently I've been hearing more and more about labyrinths. Last month my church hosted a labyrinth for a weekend. I was intrigued but was unable to attend due to family obligations. Last week, a post at the Street Prophets website spoke of the benefits of walking a labyrinth. So, through an online search, I found a local church with a permanent, public labyrinth. It's not far from where I work, so the other day I went there during my lunch hour to walk.

Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has only one path. Unlike an interstate highway, a labyrinth has many twists and turns. The center represents God, and the winding path represents our life journey. I followed the path as it wound around the circle, sometimes moving ever so slowly toward the center, sometimes turning closer to the circle's edge, and I realized how God's ways are not always our ways. Though my rational mind told me I was moving away from the goal, I realized that every step, no matter which direction, was leading me one step further along the path to the center.

Through most of the walk, both on the way in and on the way out, I was distracted by many thoughts, and unable to focus. Despite the revelation about the winding path leading me where I need to go, I felt like I hadn't really connected with God. Yet even as I started my car, I could feel the stress draining from my body. By the time I got back to work, I felt a sense of peace greater than I've experienced for some time, a peace that stayed with me for the rest of the day.

So, even though my mind didn't cooperate during the walk, I think it was a positive experience. Next time, maybe with a little advance preparation, it will be even better.


At 2/06/2006 5:05 AM, Blogger John said...

I read the Street Prophets post. A maze is a more appropriate metaphor for spiritual journeys than a labyrinth because there are so many false paths. This is similiar to faith, where is one one correct way.

At 2/06/2006 12:32 PM, Blogger BruceA said...

You're right. I misstated it in the original post.

At 2/11/2006 7:21 AM, Blogger truevyne said...

The most moving labyrinth I walked was with the thought in mind of on the way in, I'd consider my life from the womb till now, looking at lack and need and the presense of God, and on the way out my future.
It was a time of true self revelation.
I've walked it other times with less focused and simply enjoyed it as a walking prayer time. I've even tried to dance it a bit- that's always fun.


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