Today’s prayer is one that was both inspired by walking a labyrinth and can be used as a labyrinth walking prayer. I know that there are some Christians for whom walking the labyrinth is not a comfortable experience, but for others it is life giving.
In the Middle Ages people who could not afford either the resources or the time to go on pilgrimage, walked the labyrinth instead. I suspect that many of them walked it on numerous occasions. It is I have discovered a wonderful form of mini pilgrimage.
The twists and turns of the labyrinth, at one moment walking straight towards the centre and then suddenly turning towards the perimeter, reminded me that there are times well into our Christian journey when we feel we are back to our starting point. These are the times when we feel far from God in spite of the fact that we have been followers of Christ for many years. All of us experience them. Part of what my labyrinth walk has taught me is that at times like this I don’t need to look back, I need to look forward to the next step, trusting that God has laid out the path I am walking. Hopefully the next turn will lead me back toward the centre.
Of course if I was building the path, I would make a straight line that moved me straight to the centre without any twists and turns, with no times of feel distant from God. That I realize is not God’s way. Standing back from a labyrinth one cannot see the whole path but we trust that it is there and that it will not lead us astray. And so it is with God. We cannot always see the path that God has laid out for us. Sometimes it takes unexpected turns that seem to take us away from the centre just when we thought we were drawing close to God. But it is not really so. Every step we take is a step closer to the centre of the path God sets out for us and closer to a more intimate knowledge of the God we love and serve and in whom we live and move and have our being.
If you are not familiar with labyrinths check out my post Tools for Prayer – Walking a Labyrinth