My old church in Bathgate was hosting a Labyrinth Day today so I popped over this morning to have a wee wander. I think the last one I walked was actually in Chartres Cathedral many years ago, although I had done some here before that. This one was made by the congregation at Comely Bank and their rector Rev’d Frances had brought it over.
In the meeting room there were tables laid out with a wooden one (with or without marbles), sandy one, a pewter one to trace with your finger, and lots to colour in or just look at. And as ever the colouring in was very popular with child and adult alike.
I had completely forgotten how long it takes to walk the labyrinth. It always seems much longer than you think. I tried to walk it slowly and meditatively which is not my normal pace. Not that I am a sprinter, you understand! My mother always said I plodded rather than walked. I paused at all the corners and junctions to think about all the times I have to make choices. The joy of the labyrinth is that there is only one way to go. God’s way. As I got to the centre I stood barefoot and tried to let go of all that weighs me down. No, not my hips. All the ‘stuff’ I carry around unnecessarily – the petty bits and bobs that wander around my head when I try to sleep, the little worries of which I can do nothing, the things that don’t concern me but I have to put my tuppence in… all that kind of thing. I was also carrying in the concerns of a friend and was delighted to leave them at the centre and hand them over to God.
Our text today was the Road to Emmaus and the lovely Morag had baked a loaf of bread. The smell was tantalising as it came out of the bread mixer and the children ran round offering us a piece while it was still warm just as I emerged from the labyrinth refreshed and renewed. (Heartburn to follow.)
And they recognised him in the breaking of bread.
It really was a lovely peaceful morning. Meeting old friends, laughing over felt-tip pens and crumbs of bread. I really should look after my own spiritual life better. Feed myself.
I’m going to get Frances to bring her labyrinth to Christ Church soon and hope we might make our own at our Parish Weekend in August.