A labyrinth is not a maze in that there is only one way in and one way out. It is a spiritual walk where we try to pray as we walk. Often as we walk to the interior, one might focus on one’s own spiritual journey – an inward focus. As you reach the center, you might give over the things you have prayed to God. Allow them to be released. As you walk back out, it is time to focus on the world around us – an exterior focus. Pray about the wider world and your neighbors in it.
Because we walk with God, we are always changed when we walk a labyrinth. We are different people when we come out than when we entered, even if just a little bit. We try to observe silence as we walk it – children can think of it like the quiet game. This respects the process and respects your neighbors as they experience it too. Families can walk it simultaneously and don’t have to wait for someone to reach the middle before starting.
As we think about COVID-19, there have been a lot of changes in our lives. One focus of the inward prayer might include the following questions:
What things have you missed the most since the isolation began in March?
If things got back to normal, what is one of the first things you would like to do?
It is okay for us to mourn changes. Let God know what is making you sad.
God allows us to face all kinds of trouble in life. Pray for strength for the journey ahead. Imagine God raising you up on eagle’s wings and giving you resolve to roll with the punches.
In the middle: Ask God for the resolve to take whatever may come. Ask God for the ability to find joy in life even though it is different.
As you exit the labyrinth, here’s possible foci for your prayer:
As you have been in isolation, some of our relationships have suffered. Who have you missed seeing? Pray for their well-being. Are you comfortable sharing with them that you prayed for them?
Which people are worse off than you? Pray for them as well. Ask for God’s presence to be real in their lives. Be open to how God might be leading you to make a difference in their lives.
Sometimes a pause like this allows our society to reset certain practices. Are there any practices you believe need to change in the world today? If you can’t think of any, ask God to open your mind to some possibilities and remain in the silence for a while. If something has come to you, make a mental note to discuss this with your family or someone close to you after the walk.
If you go through as a family, I would invite you to process your time together with the following questions after everyone is through:
What’s something you prayed to God about missing?
Who are some of the people you prayed for? Are you going to let them know? If so, how?
What changes could you imagine? Is there anything you would like to do about them?
If there is one thing you could do to make life a little better for someone during COVID-19, what would it be?
This is one example of what we'll be doing this weekend. There may still be room to sign up at okcamps.org/2020-family-camps/ if you decide you would like to go (assuming you're reading this prior to the retreat!). But even if you can't, I would encourage you to gather with your family (or meet someone with masks for an outdoor outing) at the labyrinth on campus which is walking distance from our church parking lot.
We will still offer worship at church on Sunday. Please make your reservations in advance! We will also have online worship as well. So whether you get away to our campground or retreat at home, I would invite you to spend some time with God on Sunday!