labyrinth“Take a buffer day after returning from CREDO,” we were told. After a fifteen hour circuitous journey home, compliments of American Airlines, involving reticketing, new changeovers, increased layovers, mechanical problems and waiting for crew to materialize, well… I took the faculty’s advice. Stepping into a labyrinth is a vastly different faith-filled journey, unlike the series of mazes and impediments through which I had to navigate at the airports. As one clergy friend posted to my Facebook travel saga, “Once into the maw of the airport, one surrenders all autonomy.” Well I may not so easily surrender my autonomy to the airport ‘gods’ but I’m not convinced I find it any easier to surrender my will to God. How do I find ways to be still long enough to hear God’s desires?

labyrinthThe labyrinth is an ancient spiritual tool, thousands of years old, walked by millions of people of all cultures and traditions. When I was headed to CREDO and discovered the beautiful labyrinths installed both inside the chapel and outside on the grounds of Duncan Conference Center, I excitedly told my parents that I was eager to walk it while there. My mom asked me why on earth would I want to get lost in a maze? I explained the difference, that unlike a maze, it has no wrong turns or dead ends. Rather it is a walking prayer or meditation with only one path to the center and a route leads you back out into the world again.

Rather than a vehicle for getting lost, it is a practice to find oneself, to locate one’s center in God. Well maybe you know me well enough to know… that I eschew a pending box in favor of an “incoming/outgoing” system. No pending! But really, if pending is viewed as process, then all of life from beginning to end is process.

Naturally, as I attempted to fit walking the labyrinth into our compressed schedule at CREDO, I was only halfway through before needing to be elsewhere. Pending!!! I could have rushed through it but chose to come back to the center later that day to find my way out again. And I want to keep coming back to the center, again and again, every day because God is my center.

This is the beauty of a spiritual practice such as the labyrinth. Insights abound for one who approaches the center. And the Spirit’s grace frequently challenges rationality. A philosophy of no pending box? Lol, the Spirit replies.

So as Fall settles in and the bare of winter approaches (apparently, nature knows no pending box, only process as well!) we think about rest and snugging-in after a long green season of growth and high energy. Oncoming winter may for some of us may actually feel like a pending box. Our Christian calendar invites us to reflect on continuity and connectedness to saints past but we also cast an eye towards saints present and yet to come. Through the sacrament of Baptism celebrating All Saint’s Day on Sunday November 6th, we will welcome into the household of God the youngest member of our parish, Averill Mayer Ferris and the youngest of the Lake family, Isaac.

Our prayer for them and their families is that we as a community nestled within the household of God, may strive to support them and walk with them as we move in and out from the center, like a spiral ever moving closer to the source from whom all blessings flow.

Pastor Susan+