Walking a labyrinth has been a spiritual practice for thousands of years. While most follow a traditional design, they come in various forms and sizes. While I found them intriguing from a graphic standpoint, and I am a lover of ritual, I never quite did get the point of them until one summer back in 2001 when I was well and fully stumped.
Normally, I have a plan for everything. Only this time, an issue so pervasive and painful had swamped me into an utter stupor. I couldn’t see my way clear to any kind of solution. It was then that a friend suggested the spiritual practice of walking a labyrinth.
I admit, I thought it a little “woo-woo” at first. Still, I figured thousands of years of faithful souls can’t be too far off course, so I went to http://www.labyrinthsociety.org/ and found several close to my home. Some were rudimentary, others were strikingly ornate, but all followed the same pattern designed to weave the walker in and out along a path to its center and then back to the outside. The trick to these paths is that it’s always unclear how far you are in your journey. Sound a little like life?
I felt silly the first time I did it. I expect everyone does. As I walked along, slowly, I felt my stress subside and my spiritual ears perk up. I was spending time paying attention to God, and that is always, always fruitful time.
I had several “aha” moments during that first walk, and I’ve never failed to come away with something important any time I’ve walked a labyrinth. In fact, I became so enamored of the practice that I bought I little personal one to use when I cannot get out and walk. It’s meditative qualities have brought me great insight and valuable peace.
I expect my hero from Family Lessons, Mason Wright, would have benefitted greatly from such a practice--if anyone could have ever convinced him to try it. The poor man is so tied up in knots of pain that I think it would take an acre of labyrinths to get through to him. Good thing he has stubborn, won’t-back-down woman like Holly Sanders to keep chipping away at that mile-deep armor he wears around his heart. How does she get through? Well, you’ll have to wait until next month to find out. Maybe you could walk a labyrinth while you’re waiting....