April 30, 2012

Walking in Circles, is better than not walking at all.

In the words of Samuel, "Yes, Lord, your servant is waiting." Often times we seem to wait, and wait, and still no answer,..it seems. Scripture tells us that the path that a Christ follower must walk is a narrow path. What is it that makes it narrow? Is it that we must deny ourselves daily and lift up our cross to follow Him? Can we see in the words of Paul -What I want to do I don't do, what I don't want to do,... I do. Is it that we are prideful and want to choose the kind of path we want to walk on, maybe some pretty sights along the way, flowers, a lovely river, it might be somewhat difficult to see this in ourselves as what we see as normal, is really our normal.We want a pretty path, and a road map, and sometimes we get this...what seems like a maze.

The picture above really isn't a maze it is a labyrinth. There aren't any trick turns, there isn't a dead end, but it is kind of windy. When I walked this labyrinth in December I wondered, as I wonder each time I walk a labyrinth, will I ever get to the center? Back and forth, same path as I just walked it seems, just a couple of inches over from the path where my feet just tread. When I do get to the center, I will take a minute or two to pray and then I look up. This is what I saw that day.

Once I have completed the first half of the walk, to the center,  I want to just walk over the lines and be done with it, not walk the windy path again that leads me to the way out. That is the way my Christian walk is. Walking to God, the center, feeling as though I am in the sweet spot of God's embrace, and then it's time to walk again, and it seems that the embrace gets a bit more foggy, the trees get in the way a bit, with each step away from the center. When my life is in crisis, when the rug gets pulled out below me, when all that I thought I knew suddenly comes crashing down I run to that center. The blessing to me of Spiritual Disciplines is that I am close to the center most of the time. Not all of the time though. The disciplines only till the soil, they make the ground ready for God to do his handiwork within me. The frustrating part is when the soul is tilled, the ground watered, and then I wait. When God will You do your work of growing me, I wonder? When will I feel that growth? Sometimes I think it will never happen, and then I see that it is in the patience and trust that has grown in the desert has changed my heart to be more in line with God's desire. I have learned to be gentle with myself, and not to be demanding of God on my good days, and He does bring the growth, but with certainty it is never on my time schedule. It happens in the midst of my angst for Him, in the middle of my love for Him, in the middle of submission to Him. Sometimes when our walk is scary we might feel like we are in the maze, but instead of being able to use our eyes to guide us, we feel as though we are blindfolded. We can't see where we are supposed to be, but God can and does. Sometimes the darkness is of our own making, sometimes we are in the fallout of someone else's darkness. But be sure God is there holding us to Him.
My prayer today for those who are on a confusing path,
Father God. You have put in us the desire to search for You. The desire to seek You. We are seeking, we are desiring, but we are afraid to just be still and trust. Even though this walk is scary, and hard, I will trust when I am afraid, believe when I want to not believe anymore. I choose You, God. Take this weary soul and do with me what You will. I am your servant, and I am listening, I am waiting. You truly are my breathe, in and out. You have saved me from a great enemy, myself, my prideful self who feels they must understand everything, be in control of everything, and have all my ducks in a row. May I walk through tall grass with my bare feet and wander the adventure with You. In Christ's Name, Amen.