The labyrinth, which has origins as far back as 4,000 years, symbolizes the spiritual journey we are all on in life. It is a prayer tool that can help us find our center and be present with God. While labyrinths look like a maze there are no false turns or dead ends. It is one continuous path that leads to the center. Often as people walk the labyrinth they find their minds quieting so that they are better able to reflect on their life and listen for God.
As one walks a labyrinth one is invited to be present to the moment, being attentive to how the body feels, what one is thinking and feeling. Sometimes this means walking the labyrinth quickly, while other times a person might move slowly, even stopping at different moments.
The first stage of walking a labyrinth is the very beginning, of walking into the labyrinth. There is no judgment made about what one is thinking or feeling, but rather acceptance and acknowledgment. As a person walks, he or she may pray a simple prayer like, “Be still and know that I am God.” It may a time to ask oneself, “What am I feeling?” “What is going on in my life right now and how do I feel about it?” It is a time to name joys and celebrations, as well as frustrations and concerns. It is what we bring to the center, to God, and what we are letting go of.
The second stage, often called illumination, is time spent in the center. This is a time to open oneself up to God, to listen and receive a word from God. Often people take time to pray in the center.
The third stage begins when a person leaves the center and begins the journey back out to the world. It is a time to reflect on the message heard from God, asking oneself what difference it makes. Perhaps the difference can already be felt even while walking, with greater confidence or peace. It may be that ideas are being formed of what to do.
Sometimes it is helpful to take some time after walking the labyrinth to talk with someone, to journal, to draw to further reflect on the experience. At times people feel propelled to go right back in and walk the labyrinth again. It is an experience that is unique for everyone and each time that a person walks.
This Lenten season a labyrinth will be available in the library at the city site. Feel free to drop by and use this prayer tool during any of the following times:
Sunday 9 AM—11 AM
Monday 8 AM—3 PM, 5:30—6:45 PM
Tuesday 8 AM—Noon, 6—7 PM
Wednesday 8 AM—3 PM, 6:30—8 PM
Thursday 8 AM—3 PM, 6—7 PM
If you have any questions please feel free to talk with Pastor Rebecca.