by Kathy Wilkinson
The labyrinth is a powerful spiritual tool that has lasted the test of time. Walking the labyrinth is a way of praying with the body that invites the divine presence into an active conversation with the heart and soul. The labyrinth is a sacred pattern that leads you on a prescribed path to its center and back out again. As we walk along, we are invited to take note of our journey, the twists and turns, as they mirror our personal spiritual walks.
The first time I walked the labyrinth was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was attending a conference. One of the area attractions was the labyrinth in a nearby church. Having some free time, I decided to try it. I was at a time in my life where our children were in college and my role as “Mom” was changing. I didn’t know how to handle not having the kids be a primary focus to my life—-they will always be a big part of my life—but now in a different way. What was next for ME?? I just didn’t know and it was unsettling. As I walked, I became aware of a genuine feeling of calm and peace. I had it reaffirmed to me that God was in control—not me. I didn’t have to have all the answers because He did. All I needed to do was trust in Him.
My life continued and I didn’t have the opportunity to walk the labyrinth for a number of years. I remember the day I received the dreaded news that I had cancer. My whole world was turned upside down. It is strange, that even with the awesome support of my family, friends and doctors, there were times when I felt so alone. Part of my treatment and recovery involved the walking of the labyrinth on the hospital grounds. Again, I found a calming strength with God as its root. Physically and emotionally I was spent — yet I knew that if God had brought me to this point — He would bring me through it no matter what that meant.
As I walked the labyrinth at St. Martin’s on a Lenten Friday night with new friends, I became aware that moving to Texas is another curve in my life’s path. I felt that welcoming spirit of this church community. I felt the calm and peace of knowing I had found my church home.