This morning as Luke (Ch. 12) continues to continues to talk about servants and their readiness to serve, I want to offer a footnote to my reflection of yesterday about walking through life aware of how the walk is going (See “Stay Awake” from yesterday’s blog post). During the day yesterday my mind kept coming back to the theme of the blog and to the experience I had the evening before of walking a labyrinth. We (the Sophia Center for Spirituality) began on Monday to offer a series called “Spiritual Sampler” on Monday nights and the first of these offerings was a labyrinth walk. A labyrinth, as some of you know, is not a maze where you can get hopelessly lost but rather a unicursal or one-branch path that leads to the center. For centuries, labyrinths have been symbolic of walking a spiritual path where, in the center, God may be found.
Until I was quite sure that the description of “unicursal” was true, I was hesitant to walk a labyrinth. Over the last several years, however, I have come to relish the opportunity for this quiet, slow, reflective time that is always meaningful and sometimes surprising. As I made my intention at the entrance to the labyrinth, all I asked was to be in God’s presence, walking consciously toward God. During the next half hour of silence I was conscious of putting one foot in front of the other on the path that twisted and turned, sometimes coming close to the center and sometimes moving farther away, but always with the hope of achieving that goal. I thought how clearly like life that was. On occasion I was aware of the four others walking with me and pushed away the occasional sense of disappointment that there weren’t more companions. That brought to mind the wondering of whether or not the whole project of establishing a spirituality center -just a year old this month – would be “successful” in the long run. As I continued to walk and attempted to let go of such useless thoughts for one who purports to trust God, I heard from inside, “This is your dream; now you need to walk the walk.” Soon after that I reached the center where the sense of relief and strength was palpable.
The walk back out was long and winding again, but I felt a new confidence in remembering what I have known for much of my ministerial life: that numbers have little to do with meaning in the spiritual life and that God is with me at every step of the path. Our short conversation at the completion of the exercise convinced me that our time had been truly blessed and that each day, each moment is precious as we walk together in God’s sight.