August newsletter piece

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. ~Psalm 25:4 (New International Version)

Sometimes it’s easy to follow God’s path.
Sometimes the way is clear …
before our eyes,
before our hearts,
before our feet.

Yeah.

But sometimes it’s not.

Sometimes it’s takes a lot of twists and turns.
Sometimes it takes some backtracking.
Sometimes we find ourselves off the path entirely and have to wind our way back again.

Is anyone else hearing the Beatles?

“The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear.
I’ve seen that road before.
It always leads me her,.
Lead me to your door.”
~ The Long and Winding Road, 1970

Now, we all have different ways of working out how best to follow God’s path in our lives.

Do you journal?
Do you have a devotional book that you read?
Do you talk to someone?
Do you meditate?
Do you turn to music?

Or maybe you’re still searching for the best way to seek out and connect to God’s guidance in your life. Maybe you’re the kind of person that works things out best in movement.

One way that people have been connecting to God and working out their faith throughout the centuries is by utilizing a labyrinth.

labyrinth

The use of labyrinths is first documented in the early 4th century C.E. in northern Africa, though it’s assumed that they were being used even earlier. They were being incorporated into church structures themselves by the 12th and 13th centuries, the most famous being the cathedral in Chartres, France (the image in the previous column). Though labyrinths have also been used in Egyptian and Greek culture, in the Christian tradition, they signify a pilgrimage: “When Christian pilgrims could not travel to Jerusalem due to health or lack of money, they walked the labyrinth instead.  Thus, it began to represent the soul’s journey to Christ.”[1]

Just as everyone’s path with God is different, there are a number of different labyrinth patterns that can be found – simple and complex, circle-shaped and other shapes. There are also lots of ways you can “walk the labyrinth” nowadays. Many spiritual places (churches, camps, retreat centers, etc.) now have a labyrinth on their grounds so you can literally walk it. You can also find printed versions in books or online and “walk the labyrinth” with a pen. You can also buy desktop labyrinths that come with a “walking stick” of sorts – a wood pointer designed to fit into the path.

Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way.
~ Psalm 16:11 (The Message)

Part of my calling as a pastor is to help people find new and different ways to experience and interact with their faith – new and different ways to glimpse that radiant and shining face of God. In that vein, I am happy and hopeful to introduce you to the labyrinth.

[1] “History of Labyrinths.” http://www.creativeprayer.com/labyrinths/history-of-labyrinths/

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