Friday, June 22, 2007

    Spiritual Journeying: Labyrinth

    If you've ever walked a labyrinth, you know that they can offer a particularly rich spiritual experience. As you walk the path, you pass others or they pass you. You walk at your own pace, and others at theirs. You seem to be working your way toward the center and suddenly you find yourself on the outside of the design. Finally you reach the center, pause, and begin the journey out and though you are retracing your steps, going in the other direction this time makes the path completely new. All of this whispers metaphorically of the spiritual journey we walk together.

    We were lucky enough at church camp this year to have an engineer in residence. His skills came in handy when we decided we wanted to build a labyrinth to compliment our theme of "On the Way: the Journey of Faith." It was decided not to build a permanent labyrinth so we settled on one that you simply spray paint (using environmentally-safe paint) onto the grass (you could also use stones, stakes, woodchips, etc). Now, this is not as easy as it sounds since a labyrinth must have a particular design. This is where the guy with the engineer's brain is very useful! Using some helpful directions we found here and here, we ended up with a great spiritual tool for the youth to experience and it was a wonderful addition to one of our worship services. I now plan to have us paint the same design on the grounds of our church.


    suzanne said...

    I, too, recently returned from senior high camp. Our Regional Conference Center in Florida has a permanent labyrinth made from stones. The kids (and adults) look forward to using it each time they are at camp. This year our small group used the labyrinth to do a trust walk. We paired the kids up - one blindfolded and one not - and they walked together into the labyrinth to the center. When they reached the center, they switched roles and walked back out. It proved to be a good experience for them - and led to good discussion about trust, relationships, etc. Our graduating seniors also used the labyrinth as part of the evening worship they planned. They spread candles throughout the labyrinth and the youth entered separately (with some space between them) took communion when they reached then center, the walked back out again. It was a moving experience.