Show Us the Way . . . A Labyrinth Reflection
As we took our son’s hands, we looked down as I, Tanya, whispered, “Do you want to talk to God as you walk with Mommy and Daddy?”
“Yeah!” our almost two year old eagerly responded. As we held his tiny hands and watched our feet step onto the labyrinth mat together, I knew we were standing on holy ground —ground where many had walked before as they prayed and listened, expecting to meet the holy in this spiritual practice and experience.
Ryan had never experienced a labyrinth before and he quietly took everything in himself —the black lines on the mat creating patterns which he scanned looking to see the way in and out, the candles flanking one side of the mat, few lit as it was still fairly early that Sunday, and the low light in the room, only the streaks of light from the windows of the gym coming in. He felt it was serene —definitely a place to find solace in a world where solace is often hard to find.
Although I have walked many labyrinths —this was the first experience of us walking and participating in this spiritual practice as a family. As we took another step, I whispered: “I wonder, what are you grateful for?” After we took a breath and gave Luke room to think, Ryan took a moment to share and I did too, modeling the different possibilities for our son who was eagerly watching and waiting. We took another step and then one more. In these moments I felt gratitude for the opportunity to invite our active and energetic kiddo into a kinesthetic spiritual practice that welcomed his desire to move and walk as he talked and we prayed.
Then almost as quickly as we had begun, Luke sat down (not even 3 feet into the path). Upon coaxing he decided to lay down, letting go of our hands as he rolled away,Well, I thought,this is another way to experience this spiritual practice for sure. While my initial instinct was to pick him up and carry him off, I remembered that we all show up to this process differently and in it we are changed. Slowly we leaned down and asked, “Are you done talking to God?” “Yeah,” he replied as he got off and ran in a different direction. Ryan and I smiled as we took in this gift that provides a way to learn and grow together.
We are all walking a journey —some days we have the energy to walk the entire path several times as we process, discern, and wait for an answer or new possibility. Other days we, like Luke, are ready to be done once we begin. The beauty for us came in the invitation and opportunity to connect to God and each other, to practice slowing down and talking to God. We are grateful we get to experience this process together.