Posts tagged ‘Annunciation Monastery’

Lessons from a Labyrinth

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While on a writing retreat at Annunciation Monastery in Bismarck, North Dakota, I had the opportunity to walk a prayer labyrinth.  I’d heard of them only in magazines and learned that a labyrinth is not a maze where one must decide between two directions, but rather a single winding path in the shape of a huge circle.  The labyrinth at the monastery was made out of field stone and lay in the midst of beautiful green prairie. The goal is to pray while walking to the center of the circle.

A labyrinth is an ancient pattern that is to remind us of our spiritual journeys.  When I first walked up to it, I had a surge of confidence.  It looked easy.  I wasn’t too far into the journey when it took a sudden turn and took me in the opposite direction of where I wanted to go.  I later found out the entire labyrinth is a mile long though it looks much smaller.  I followed the winding trails, tried to quiet my impatience by focusing on the journey rather than the destination.  I found a robin’s egg shell and enjoyed the lovely song of the meadowlark.  The evening sky showed blue against the green grass of a wet prairie.  Puffy white clouds drifted across the heavens.  And then I was at the center, the place of my destination.

So much like life.  Always harder and longer than you expect.  Many twists and turns that can either discourage us to the point of giving up or else teach us to enjoy the journey rather than focus too much on the end result.  It reminded me of  Pilgrim in Pilgrim’s Progress, my own spiritual marathon, and Jesus who leads  every step of the way.  Though we may think we will never reach our goal we may be sure that eventually we will–as long as we follow the path one step at a time.  And it helps to do it prayerfully!