“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Have you ever done a labyrinth? I had not done one until a few years ago. For those of you who don’t know what it is, a church labyrinth is like a maze but it is special in that there is no wrong turn. You can’t get lost or go the wrong way because there is only one path.
The first time I did a labyrinth was at St. Mary’s, a nunnery in Sewanee. It looked like a bunch of bricks laid out on the ground in a circular formation with many twists and turns on a path to an open, center ring. It appeared to be confusing and difficult from the outside, but I thought I could figure my way through, so I went to the entrance of the path and began walking.
The path started going towards the outside of the ring, then it wound back towards the center. Right when you were getting close to the middle ring, the path would turn you back again and you would wind up on the outskirts of the circle. From no matter what vantage point you had on the path, the center, the end of the path, was always in sight. The entire labyrinth is no more than ten feet wide in diameter, but I might have been walking for around ten minutes. The path winded back and forth until, finally, I had reached the center.
My mom has a t-shirt that says, “Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride.” That first labyrinth I did reminded me of this shirt. There are many metaphors of labyrinths to our relationship with God. It has never been a secret what lies ahead: we are aware of this vast, open ending that God has planned for us in heaven.
We can’t lose sight of this as we continue on our path in life. Life is a perfectly laid out path that God has planned for us. We will go through many hardships and life might get turned around, but He is always at the end, stably waiting our arrival. The way to Christ is direct; we can find comfort in the fact that He controls the journey to our sweet destiny. All we have to do is enjoy the ride.
Greystone provides the perfect opportunity to really enjoy life’s path. We are surrounded by a community of Christians who intentionally live to serve God. There are fewer distractions and more opportunities to focus on the way we are going, and the steps that we are taking in life.
Through all the prayers, breakfast clubs, devotions, and morning assembly talks that camp gives us on a daily basis, we are able to find clarity in our way and appreciate the path God has provided. I like to think of Greystone as a ‘thin place’ or a place where the border between heaven and earth is extremely thin.
It is in these places that we get close to the center of the labyrinth. We are able to peek into what heaven might be like, which energizes us enough to continue on the long, wonderful ride of life.