The path was untidy from the ravages of winter and a cold, wet spring. This labyrinth was new to me, and I felt oddly anxious as I stood at its entrance. I could barely see where to begin, and the dividing bricks outlining the winding, switch-back path were nearly buried beyond sight.
I took a deep breath and noticed the sign that described this labyrinth. As a classic “unicursal” (single course) maze, a traveler has simply to stay on the path to reach the center, which was the case with similar labyrinths in my experience. What struck me was the sign’s declaration, “There are no dead ends or tricks.” I found that surprisingly comforting.
After I walked the first few feet into the labyrinth, I found I could discern the guiding bricks a short distance at a time. Like sentries, they blocked certain routes and allowed free passage to other avenues. Even with the sign’s promise of an unambiguous route, more than once I was again a bit unsettled as I thought I was being led into the center of the huge circle, only to find the path turned sharply away. As silly as it may sound, I found I had to exercise some discipline to stay the course rather than step across the bricks. I thought of the invitation to “trust the process.”
The wind was biting cold beneath a bright sun, and the atmospheric juxtaposition seemed fitting. I, like many others, am in what feels like an uncertain season. From professional questions like whether Bethesda Workshops will be able to get the building we’re hoping for, to more personal situations with loved ones, to the challenging circumstances I hear from clients every day, the older I get the more certain I become of life’s uncertainty.
When I reached the center of the labyrinth, I stood for several moments and prayed. I thanked a loving God that there are no tricks or dead ends when we are walking with God. No turn is wasted; no blocked path is an obstacle. All steps on the journey are part of the process if our center is an unfolding relationship with God.
In the words of the old hymn, God walks with me and with all of us all the way.