Starting early in the first Century Christians made regular pilgrimages to the Holy Land with the desire to grow spiritually closer to Jesus. Eager to pray at the sites of Christ’s ministry, pilgrims walked hundreds of miles, praying and singing on the way. During the Middle Ages, this practice became impossible because of wars. To respond to the spiritual needs of the people many churches in France, England and Germany built labyrinths to enable pilgrims to make symbolic journeys to the “Holy Land” striving to unite themselves in spirit with Christ.
The labyrinth at King’s House is patterned after the one found in the Cathedral at Chartes, France, which dates back to the early 1200’s. This labyrinth is called an eleven-circuit labyrinth because the path circles around the center eleven times.
A labyrinth is not a maze, but the two are frequently confused. mazes are puzzles designed to trick and confuse. A labyrinth’s purpose is to help the walker find her way. There is only one entrance that starts at the outer edge, goes into the center which then becomes the path back out.
The word labyrinth is also a medical term for the part of the inner ear that regulates balance. It is thought that the equal number of left and right turns in the design provide a psychological benefit to the walker in addition to any spiritual benefit one might receive in prayer.
The walk from the entrance of the labyrinth to its center represents the first part of this path. The walk into the center represents a letting go, or “purging” of things that interfere with the relationship with God. The center of the labyrinth symbolizes the place where the walker receives illumination or simply rest in whatever the experience offers. Retracing the path back to the entrance provides the opportunity to integrate any insights gained in the journey.
My walk and talk with Jesus through the labyrinth. This is one of my favorite things to do when on retreat to bring me closer to Jesus, not only is it great to release my mind but the view is gorgeous.
Dear Jesus I tend to detach from life easily and quickly if it’s not going my way. I get so tired so quickly, sometimes are such a chore for me. My mind never turns off Lord. I want to follow Your will but when I am not sure what it is or which direction to go, I often get discouraged. What is the difference between perseverance and Your answer being NO?
Once I got to the center of the labyrinth, I sat down and simply stated “LORD, I am listening what do you want me to know?” after 5-10 minutes I heard:
Get rid of distractions, the less “stuff” you have the more you free yourself to just be.
- make you tired
- make your mind overactive
- don’t allow you to focus on the person
- takes you away from ME
- makes you believe in those “things” more than ME
- makes you irritable.
- you were not created to multi-task
- makes you believe you are in control
- the “stuff” drains you
- allows you to be so consumed, you have no time or energy to enjoy the simple day that I have given you as a gift
Make a list of all the “things” in your life, note if they fill you up or drain you and why. Then come back to ME with your list and let’s talk.