Walking the Labyrinth is a journey – much like life - lots of twists and turns and uncertain outcomes. It has a beginning and an end, but what happens in between is an adventure. All you have to do is follow the path wherever it may lead.
Recently Advent’s Labyrinth, installed in Sept. 2010, had fallen on hard times. It is but one small part of a much larger church. While the rocks were all there and clearly visible, the crab grass and chick weed had taken over. Its upkeep had surpassed one parishioner’s ability to maintain. So when the matter was raised during a recent Building & Grounds discussion, I “volunteered” my son to take on reclaiming it as a family project.
The job proved harder than I expected. First off, it was hot, really hot, me sitting on my little garden cart and he on a 5 gallon bucket. And while the crab grass came up with a hefty pull, the chick weed, especially the little stuff, was particularly persistent. We spent about eight hours over four days getting the job done. Well done, Jack!
Interestingly, while sitting next to the office pulling weeds I was also able to observe daily church life. I saw Nancy and Linda going in and out, happily on their way to meetings or visiting parishioners. We are very fortunate to have such light spirits in our presence. I heard laughter, uproarious laughter, coming out of the first floor. I had no idea what was going on, but I smiled anyway. And, I saw other volunteers tending to other parts of the church, equally pleasant and committed their tasks. Advent is a wonderful living and vibrant community, a place for gathering people, thoughts and service activities.
It occurred to me that when coming to Advent there is no wrong door - Come on in! Participate as you see fit and feel comfortable – follow your path wherever it may lead. End of the day, you get out of church what you put into it, although I like to leave a little something behind for the next person. Stewardship begins in the heart, not the wallet.
Which brings me back to the Labyrinth. It has three steps: 1) Releasing the conflict within you, 2) Receiving insight and clarity, and 3) Integrating its guidance into the world around you. If you have not already done so, seek its peace. If you are so moved, add a rock from someplace special or representing someone special to you. The more we use the Labyrinth and fill it with our goodwill, the more it will reflect on and give back to us.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Your obedient servant,
Vestry Development Warden