There will be a labyrinth available at the church the weekend of the Lenten Retreat.
Though there are many styles of labyrinths, they are all composed of twisting paths, leading from an entrance, to the center, and back out again by the same path. Unlike a maze, labyrinths are designed not to confuse, but to make clear; to lead not to dead ends but to a destination. The many turns encourage us to walk purposefully but without haste. The path itself provides surprises as we may think we are nearing the center and soon find ourselves swinging out toward the perimeter again and again, only to be surprised when the center suddenly appears under our feet!
Scholars believe labyrinths have existed for perhaps over 4,000 years, originating perhaps on the island of Crete. The oldest existing labyrinth pattern can be seen in a rock carving on the Italian island of Sardinia off the coast of Italy, and the oldest one designed to walk through was in Egypt and dates back to 2000 BCE—around the time of Abraham of the Hebrew scriptures!
Walking the labyrinth is a valuable tool for noticing.
1) Sometimes we can walk for the simple joy of the experience itself. Generally labyrinths are set in places of great beauty, reminders of the marvel of creation.
2) The movement of the pathway can serve to remind us of the importance of balance in our lives. We all need to journey inward making space for quiet and time alone. The center is a place for gathering the insights the journey inward has provided. The journey outward can strengthen our intention and desire to offer the gifts of our journey to benefit the world.
3) The labyrinth experience can be trusted. There is no way to become lost. By simply and persistently putting one foot in front of the other, the goal will inevitably be reached.
4) The actual walking of the pathway, the process, is as important as the goal. Often life is like this. The labyrinth can help us pay attention and to value what is happening in the present moment.