It is the love of God that causes all life to be. Trusting that God’s love is victorious in our day-by-day life can be challenging when we see threats and anti-life actions of humans. We can be deterred or overcome by greed, fear and lies. The lies we tell ourselves and the actions we take based on fear wreaks havoc in our hearts and at all levels of nature and across the globe.
Lent is a season to slow down and acknowledge how we ourselves contribute to this havoc when we are afraid to speak or face reality. Fear of truth and greed for power plays out on playgrounds, boardrooms, and gossip circles on sunny days. It’s everywhere. Often, we are blind to our own participation in it.
As we have watched the war unfold in Ukraine, we are sickened by the actions of violence based on fear, greed and lies. We have seen the same story play out countless times in history.
How can we break this pattern as we walk through a day or week? Lent is a 40 day walk that invites us to see and face such things. Six weeks of stopping that which numbs us to reality. It’s not wise to assume you can do it alone. Choose a walking partner who will remind you of God’s love. I hope you will take on a literal “walking practice” of seeking wisdom by walking our indoor labyrinth.
What it’s like to walk a labyrinth:
Begin the walk by mentally dropping all distractions — these are the routine thoughts that seem harmless. Walk a few feet and put away the assumptions and all you’ve learned. Peel off the layers of “poor me” and the scoreboard of who has done what to whom as you turn a corner on the path. Let go of blame and shame. Release fear and half-truths before you reach the center of the labyrinth. When you’ve removed this armor, be still with the support of a friend in the loving presence of God. Listen for the voice of truth in this place. It is here, in the center of the labyrinth that your walk includes receiving grace and truth in the stillness. It might be an unveiling like sweet water in an otherwise empty desert of shadows that sound like monsters.
After a short visit there, continue your walk. Only this time leave behind the baggage you had peeled off. Walk renewed and encouraged to face reality with more grace — even humble courage. Become love for the world around you. As you exit the labyrinth thank your walking partner who has accompanied you on the Lenten practice of making a new road by walking.
Perhaps your friend physically walked with you. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is your only chosen companion. Perhaps you will converse with your counselor or pastor or doctor the next day.
God bless each of us as we discover what is real and true and what are lies and excuses. God calls us to heal, mend and free one another from all that hinders us from the life Jesus Christ offers us. For the sake of God’s glorious, life-giving will; for the sake of peace among nations and the welfare of our only home planet, let’s join together to make the road by walking.