I recently had the unique and incredible opportunity to participate in a yoga, meditation and cooking class retreat. During that retreat, I had the opportunity to walk a labyrinth for the first time. It was beautiful and a light snow was falling. However, like so many other times in my life, I was putting pressure on myself to do it just right, have the perfect experience, and discover something incredible within my myself.
Here is what was going on in my head (hand with me, it’s a mess in there) . . . “Ok, I think this is the right way to walk it, just get going, start praying and walking hurry up, wait, I think I was supposed to come into the labyrinth with a certain prayer focus, what if I’m doing it wrong, have I been this way before, just pray and focus, sometimes people pick up a rock along the way to place on the alter when they get to the center, you should look for something special, no, just pray, God, thank you for this amazing weekend and the opportunity to be in this beautiful place. Please show me your beauty around me and, oh, gosh, maybe that is the special rock I’m supposed to pick up. Oh, no. I’m not doing this right, I’m supposed to walk all the way around and then land in the center, why am I already at the center. I just need to start over. [I back out of the maze and begin in a new spot]. Lord, I’m struggling here, I want to lift up my children and husband to you today, each of the women at this retreat and please reveal what you would have me, oh there is an amazing and beautiful strange piece of bark, I think that is what I’m supposed to place in the center, No, it’s supposed to be a rock, I think you just need to call it quits, you tried.”
And so I did, I shrugged my shoulders and began to walk out of the labyrinth not having any real focused prayer time due to my own judgement and desire to do things “right”. However, after I walked out, I could not ignore the Holy Spirit. I turned back around, walked into the labyrinth, found the bark and placed it on the alter. I knew that odd piece of bark was exactly what I was supposed to place there. Still nothing, just obeying. And then as I walked out of the labyrinth for a second time, and it came to me. The purpose and prayer focus that God wanted me to lean into.
Why this long story? More than anything I want us to remove the comparison and pressure we place upon ourselves. Sometimes we spend so much time trying to figure out how to pray the perfect way, show our faith to others, study the Bible, live our lives, etc. that we miss the entire point of it all.
To be still and listen to God, embracing and celebrating we are each unique in our hearts, our journeys, our paths and our roles. There is no perfect way to God – there is just God. He is before us and with us wherever we are, how ever we are doing it, and He isn’t waiting for us to get it all right before we approach Him.
May you feel this truth fall upon you like a soft snow that melts into your being and becomes a part of you. You are already enough! God is with you right now and doesn’t leave you. There is no judgement as you come before Him to listen and learn. Lean in and rest in the fact that your journey with God will not look like everyone else’s because you are His unique creation. May you embrace and celebrate where you are on your journey with Him today and every day. Amen
You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this. Psalm 139:13-14
You may have already found my unique piece of bark on the alter from the labyrinth. If you look at the cross made of black rocks (at the bottom of the picture), my bark is slightly above it to the right.