I walked the labyrinth at the hospital today. I can see it from my office window, the maples blooming with a sharp red that distracts me all day long as I watch past my clients through the glass into the courtyard beyond my office. I finished the drudge of my paperwork today in time to spend thirty minutes walking through it.
I see it everyday through the glass; today was the day to walk it.
I have read about them before, but I’ve never walked through one. I found myself taking one step at a time, observing the thoughts passing through my mind with each step.
Loop one: What am I supposed to be doing? Am I thinking solemnly enough? Am I messing this up? The last time I was here was when Brooke’s dad was in ICU after a stroke. Should I even be here right now?
Loop two: Shouldn’t I be learning something profound right now? Isn’t this supposed to be an existential process; a joining of mind and body and soul at one time? Am I doing this right? I have friends going through mammograms right now. I have other friends losing their jobs right now. I have other friends in the hospital with their parents right now; shouldn’t this be about them?
Loop three: You don’t know what you are doing. Be quiet in your mind. Stop working to figure this all out. Just put one foot in front of the other, and know that whether or not you see how the path in front of you plays out, it does––in fact––play out. You will keep walking, and make it to the other side. Stop pushing.
The person going through the mammogram right now is what is on your mind. Let it be.
The person who is losing a job is on your mind. Let it be.
The person who is in the hospital with his mom is what is on your mind. Let it be.
This is not about an existential process; this is about being truthful about where you are, what you can and cannot do, and who God is. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Loop four: You, God, are the same. You are the God who changed the course of the story in the garden. You are the same God who made Abraham the promise. You are the same God who anointed David King. You are the same God who gave Isaiah a vision. You are the same God who sent Christ. You are the same God who raised him. You are the same God making all things new. You are the same God whose son is King of the kingdom.
There is nothing magical about that maze of concrete that sits between the walls of the hospital and my Pathways office. There is, however, something sacred about the journey through a guided piece of art that brings me where I need to be: completely unsure about where this winding path leads, but knowing––more than I know most things––that where I will end up is where I need to be.
Be still and know.