Lessons from a labyrinth – enjoying the journey
I’m currently in a bit of a strange ‘in between’ time in my life, preparing to go to theological college in October but still carrying on in my current job now. The last two years or so have been a bit of a time of waiting and preparing for me and I have been learning a lot about those two things.
Last year I got to walk a prayer labyrinth for the first time. What I learnt through this profound spiritual experience is really relevant to the space I am in now in my life.
- Maybe you’re in a similar situation – waiting for something to happen, for something big to change for you?
- How do we focus on what’s happening now and make sure we enjoy each part of the journey for what it is?
Here are some reflections I wrote last year on the prayer labyrinth:
Here is an image of the prayer labyrinth I walked.
There is only one path in a prayer labyrinth. There are no dead ends, it is one complete pathway that moves to the centre and back out again by the same route.
Some parts of the journey are short, and feel short lived – you find yourself sometimes not wanting to turn the corner. Other parts of the journey are long and exhilarating. Some parts feel dull and repetitive. The centre of the labyrinth represents communion with God. As I was walking to the centre I was longing to reach it. Interestingly, something I noticed was that although the centre of the labyrinth was a place to stop and be embraced by God, the spirit of God was with me throughout the walk – on the way to the centre and on the way out. I realised that my perception was that I could only ‘truly meet with God’ in the centre, when in actual fact, He was there with me all the time – behind and before me (like Psalm 139:5).
The whole experience was a powerful metaphor for the Christian journey. The journey we take each day, each year and the journey we take with God over the whole of our lives. I was amazed how the walk felt similar to a big hike up a mountain, with the hard bits, easy bits and ‘beautiful views’.
What I am going to try and remember from my experience is:
Communion with God is always available to me – I only have to open myself to Him and ask Him to come and be with me. After all, Jesus says ‘behold, I stand at the door and knock’ (Rev 3:20)
Jesus is with me always (Matt 28:20) – behind and before me. I am walking in His footsteps and He is right behind me – whether on the easy path or the difficult path.
If you get the chance to walk a prayer labyrinth, I would really recommend it!
To find out more about labyrinths and to take part in an online labyrinth visit: http://www.labyrinth.org.uk/