I walked a labyrinth in Audubon Park last week on a perfect spring day. This maze is outdoors amid ancient oaks draped with Spanish moss. I walked with a group of about fifteen other women, quietly. Here are a few things that struck me as life parallels.
1. Life is full of twists and turns.
2. You may think you are close to your goal, but it may still take a very long time to get there.
3. When you stiffen in order to stay on the narrow path, you are more likely to fall off.
4. At times there is a lot of traffic, which adds confusion as to the right direction.
5. At times there is no one in sight, and you feel alone, which leaves confusion as to the right direction.
Then, two important truths about the labyrinth as well as life:
1. Someone has gone before you and laid the way for you.
2. And someone will come after you, so lead well.
Finally, if you consider the center of the labyrinth to be like God, the center of all life, we learn that all of the journey involves moving either closer or farther away from God. And we may spend some time passing by without noticing him. But when we finally enter his presence, through a deliberate following, we see only him.
I closed my eyes when I reached the center, along with half a dozen others. I did not hear them leave. When I opened my eyes, I was ready to proceed out of the labyrinth, back into the world, the regular living, but I had found a quiet contemplation in the presence of God. May you proceed toward God along the labyrinthine path of your life, following alertly the way set before you.
Someone has gone before you and someone will come after you.