I was doing some yard work today, and went out by the labyrinth. I haven’t walked it in sometime. I found that a large limb had fallen and broken in the middle of it. As I was removing it, I realized how many weeds had grown up. As I began to pull the weeds, I realized the path was no longer clear. In some places, the rocks had been scattered because a deer trail runs through the middle of it. I started to walk the labyrinth to clear weeds and reset the stones. However, I got lost.
It didn’t take long before I came to a place I didn’t know whether to turn or go straight. I marked it with some branches and kept walking. In some places the small rocks were scattered. I tried to reset them, putting some in my pockets for places where the rocks seemed to have disappeared. I got completely disoriented, not knowing if I was still in the labyrinth or not because some of the rocks were so overgrown with moss you couldn’t even see they were rocks. These I pulled out of the ground and turned over.
I finally got to the center and turned to see if I could walk out. I still could not. I continued to mark the questioned spots with branches and then when I came through the second time, I replaced them with rocks. It took the the third walk before I could make it in and out of the labyrinth without getting lost.
My labyrinth requires use and maintenance or it just becomes a jumble of rocks and branches. I thought about how this was the same for my faith. I haven’t felt lost but I have felt a bit disoriented. Maybe like Jonah when he landed on the beach after being vomited out by the great fish. My faith is still there and largely intact, like my labyrinth. But it also feels a little scattered and moss-grown with some random branches and weeds as well.
This Friday, I begin a 3-month sabbatical (thank you to my generous congregation). I leave next Friday for Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago (French way). I’ve been training for months and am almost packed. I don’t think I have a spiritual goal, but I’m looking forward to the spiritual discipline of having to walk every day — and also for the only thing I need to accomplish is to walk every day. Both aspects will be challenging. Hopefully, I won’t get lost like I did today in the labyrinth.
If you’d like to join me, I’m going to try and post something every day. It won’t be a travel log, but a few words or some pictures. I appreciate your prayers, and if you would like me to pray for you, just let me know in the comments. Buen Camino