August 7, 2011

Trust the path.

A few days ago I introduced the labyrinth to a group.   Only one had experience with a labyrinth before.  We sat on the warm stone in the early morning, at the center of the labyrinth, talking about the practice of walking and praying--the kinetic spirituality of integrating movement and prayer. Labyrinths are meaningful to me because almost without fail, when I walk one, I leave centered, more clear, heart open to God in a way that I was not when I entered.  It is sacred movement for me.

As I explained a way to walk a labyrinth, one woman asked a series of questions "Where does it begin?", "What if I can't figure out what to do?", "How will I know when it is done?".  I responded, "You can trust the path. You don't have to figure it out.  The path will take you to the center, then, retrace your steps, the path will take you back out. You can't get lost and you don't have to worry about the path.  Trust the path to take you into the heart of God."

Awhile later, I walked the path as well, listening to the screeching voices inside of me begin to relent a bit.  Listening for that shift when my internal voices eventually part, making way for the Spirit to speak. It doesn't always happen fully.  But it almost always happens a bit. 

This day as I walked, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in my own words, "Trust the path."  

All summer I have been doing what I do really well:  Analyzing.  Discerning, oh, I mean WORRYING.  Dwelling.  Wondering. Questioning.  Some of it is good.  I do contemplate life.  Am I living congruently? Am I living out of my shadow or in the Light?  What are the questions that go unheard during the busy year that need attending to?  But there is also the ongoing nagging  and stressing and anxiety and over-thinking, and tossing and turning that happens as well.   Too often my contemplating is simply dressed-up worrying.

Is my daughter going to the "right" school for her?
How busy is the upcoming year going to be?
How do I want to spend the next decade of my life? (for real, this has been my overall question of the summer)
Who are the people that make up my inner circle? How can I be more intentional?
What is the state of our marriage? What needs attending to?
How can I beat the constant "edge of chaos"living that pulls at my life?
Is there a way to complete my dissertation and be the pastor/mother/wife/friend/you-name-it I want to be?
Can I be content with one child? 

Ok, see what I mean.  Some discerning, A LOT of worrying.

And that day and this year, the word the Spirit has for me is "Trust the path.  You can trust the path you are on, Sarah.  I will use it to bring all that you need to grow to maturity.  I will use everything, every relationship, and every experience to make you become who you are created to be.  Focus attention on the path.  Love the people that cross your path.  Respond to the opportunities that come into your path.  Follow through on the commitments that We have made together on this path. We have chosen this path together, you and Me.  This is Our path, not just yours.  Trust Me that the path will bring into your life all you need for abundant life and ministry."

I felt a sense of relief.  The Holy Spirit is my life's guide, not me.  Generously and with love, the Holy Spirit gives the life given over to the Spirit back to me, to share together in ministry.  The Holy Spirit is my Guide, Leader, and Wisdom, yet, amazingly, trusts me enough to walk with me, beside me, partnering in my life.  

Will I trust the path that God and I are on together?  This path will for surely take me into the heart of God.  My life belongs to God, and God will not squander me or this path.  

Trust the path is lingering with me as I move into this academic year. 
There are still decisions to be made, discerning to happen, yet, my life is Sacred. It belongs to God. God and I share this journey.  We are in this together. I will trust the path to take me to the center of God's heart and there is no turn in the path that will be squandered. 
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