It has been a while since I walked a labyrinth. If you don’t know, a labyrinth is a tool used in contemplative prayer. It only has one path, there are no wrong turns, no surprises. You begin at the outside, and then journey through to the center, where you pause in prayer, and then you return to the outside. It is an interesting journey.
Walking a labyrinth is a kind of pilgrimage. It is a journey, where the goal of the journey is to more deeply come into contact with God. You don’t have to crawl six hundred miles on your knees to take a pilgrimage. Some people are called to that kind of pilgrimage, and it is how they have been called to participate in God’s good work, to come closer to God.
But in the smaller times, in the closer spaces, we are called to a continual relationship with God. Walking the labyrinth can be one of those ways. We journey to the center, slowly, praying the whole way.
As we journey, that journey becomes a model for our life journey. We are called to journey to the center, to continually strive to approach God. We are called to pray the whole way, waking and sleeping. We celebrate God’s presence the whole way, through stumbles and wrong turns and heartbreak.
I don’t do this nearly as well as I should. I want to pray without ceasing, I want my every living breath to be reminded of the Spirit’s breath in me. But I fall. I trip. I get distracted and turn away from the path in front of me. Instead of focusing on the center, I listen instead to the cat-calls of the distractions in my life.
But that doesn’t stop me from journeying. One wrong turn won’t destroy the work God has done. A million wrong turns doesn’t keep God from calling me back to the journey.
The journey begins with a single step. All I have to do is accept the call to begin the pilgrimage, and set out.