Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I walk to the center

On my wall in my office I have a quilted batik of a labyrinth similar to the one pictured above.  I made it a number of years ago when I was in seminary. Sometimes when I need to quiet myself or focus or take break from whatever I’m working on I’ll lean back in my chair and let my eyes follow it’s path. It almost never fails that the center comes as a little, holy surprise. This happens no matter how many times I walk it, whether with my eyes or with my feet.

The first time I walked the labyrinth it was even more dramatic. It was a chilly early April evening in northern Indiana. I entered the labyrinth with little expectation – even a slight skepticism – and began to walk in the half-light of the almost sunset. I simply followed the path. One step after the other until suddenly and unexpectedly I was there, the center. I remember feeling an almost physical sensation of windedness. In that instant, even while all around me remained still and twilit, the light shone and the choir sang. It was the presence of the Spirit was revealed.

I sank to my knees on the damp grass and just breathed in the silence and the brightening stars. There were no actual words or voices from heaven, but I was changed. I realized that God could indeed work in ways that I don’t expect. I didn’t want to leave that spot that seemed so full of the Divine. Some of that has lingered every time I travel the labyrinth.

Today as my eyes traveled the path of the labyrinth, the center was a bit of a surprise but it was the end of the labyrinth, the way out that caught me off guard more than most times. It came sooner than I was expecting. My eyes wanted to keep wandering and meandering. I wasn’t ready to be thrown out into disconnectedness. I wanted to remain in proximity to the center and be bound by the safety of that gravitational pull. Even now my eyes keep returning to it.

I am glad. I do yearn for the center. I do want to remain in the gravitational pull of the Spirit. I do hope that when my orbit swings me away and when it pulls me close, my sun is always Christ.

There is a song in the Sing the Story Mennonite Hymnal supplement that I was reminded of as I wrote:

"Jesus be the center"
Jesus, be the center
Be my source, be my light, Jesus.
Jesus, be the center.
Be my hope, be my guide, Jesus.
Be the fire in my heart.
Be the wind in my sails.
Be the reason that I live, Jesus.
Jesus, be my vision.
Be my path, be my guide, Jesus.
Jesus, be the center.
Be my source, be my light, Jesus.


heidi said...

This is so important, to continuously try to be centered. I find that sometimes it's hard to even know what that is, but always a goal. Thanks.

Unknown said...

This is beautiful. Thank you, Amy.