Like many who’ve attended Friday Nights in Lent and the adult labyrinth class, I entered a labyrinth for the first time. As the class started, we prayed; newbies like me received basic first-time, how-to information; and people shared previous experiences. Then we had the opportunity to walk the labyrinth.
I sat for a while; it was hard for me to quiet my mind enough to embrace something new. I absorbed the first-timer information, prayed a bit, and then took my shoes off to get on the canvas. Everyone else had entered the labyrinth before me.
The idea, prayer, petition that I meditated on as I started was
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Yup, the original King James Version came to mind, as memorized in Mrs. Haley’s 4th grade class.
I stuck with that meditation for at least the first third of my walking. It was interesting to experience my focus change from “busy and distracted” to “just me and God” with this verse. After a while, my unconscious memory lifted out the two verses that followed:
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
It was interesting that the deeper into the labyrinth I got, the more that Scripture called me:
- out of busy independence into refreshing rest
- into the remembrance to be yoked together with God
- into sharing my load
That’s not my spiritual experience from my first labyrinth walk. For those who don’t know anything about this style of meditative labyrinth, there’s just one path, and it leads to the center. Somewhere, probably in standing still and turning aside for another walker to pass, I got on a different path. I stayed on my path, stuck with my meditation, and eventually made it out. I did a couple of meditative laps around the outside of the labyrinth to reflect on the fact that I did not reach the center of the labyrinth like everyone else had. Really? My path wasn’t like everybody else’s? No surprise there! Have you had an experience like that?
I laughed that I had a labyrinth “fail” but that isn’t what best describes it. It was a good experience in meditation, on an atypical labyrinth track, and a good journey with a different destination. I’m looking forward to another experience.
Life is a journey, not a destination.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson