As I’ve done every morning while at this conference, I took a morning Labyrinth prayer walk. This morning, I was walking as I have been doing but I saw something different. As I passed one of the iris plantings, I noticed a few new blooms but they weren’t purple – they were orange and yellow! Wow! So, I had to stop and take a picture. I didn’t have my DSLR with me so I just took this picture with my iPhone. However, the first one I took had my finger over part of the lens, the second cut off part of the upper flower, and so I had to get the third shot just right (and I didn’t even do that – the flowers are out of focus). So I got the shot (I thought) and was getting ready to head back out into the rest of the Labyrinth. As I started walking the path, something just felt off. Suddenly, I realized that I was walking out of the labyrinth rather than getting back to the center as a labyrinth path is intended to go. So my “squirrel” moment got me all messed up. What spoke to me about that was how easily we get distracted from the path that we are following trying to follow Christ. There are plenty of “squirrels” that come along that take our eyes off Jesus – mine just happened to be a few flowers.
As I unintentionally walked out of the labyrinth, I wrestled with whether to turn around to go back in, but I honestly felt that there was a message in there for me – my heart and mind were not focused in the way I needed to in walking the labyrinth at that time.
Walking away from the labyrinth, I pulled out my phone and started reading my daily Scriptures. I came to the stories in Acts 16-18 in my devotions after this experience and read about Paul’s singleminded devotion to the places that God was leading – from Macedonia to Thessalonica to Beroea to Athens to Corinth to Antioch which included arrests, prison, riots, beatings, and in the midst seeing God at work. I found myself with a measure of guilt as I read it – why wasn’t I as focused as I should be? But then, what I heard as I spent time with that guilt was…another time for the labyrinth will come…