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Monday, November 6, 2017

My Feet Have Walked this Path Before

I’m not sure that I’m really a creature of habit (I’m definitely not awesome at routine… still…), but I do like to revisit places I have loved.  The past two days have been pretty good for that.  This has given me time to reflect on the passage of time, itself, which is always a difficult concept around which to wrap my mind.

As an example, two (plus) years is seemingly a long time, but if you put that much space between trips to the same shore or the same prayer labyrinth on the edge of a cliff; when you arrive you might find that they are largely unchanged.  In that sense, maybe two years isn’t a long time, at all.

I, however, am not largely unchanged.

Prayer labyrinths are kind of funny (though not ordinarily humorous).  The one I walked, today, requires you to begin on a straight path that looks as if it could lead directly to the center, but… of course… we all know that’s never the way it goes.  Before you know it, we’re twisting and turning and just as we seem to get a little bit closer to the goal, we’re spinning around again.  If we “stay the course,” we will eventually get to wherever we’re going, but it takes more time than most of us are willing to commit. 

The first time I walked this particular labyrinth, I was completely alone for the vast majority of the walk.  Occasionally, I became aware of a curious presence, but most people simply do not have the patience for this kind of activity (even in the middle of a secluded garden that requires a significant elevator ride to reach it).  Today was different, because others joined in on a fairly regular basis, as I circled… and circled… and circled…  As reverent of an experience as I wished this to be, I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit at how hopelessly lost some of them got, traipsing through the middle of the maze, refusing to follow the meticulously laid out path.  The truth is, one misstep can take you right back to the beginning, and although I’m not sure that’s great theology; it made for some interesting reflection.

So, as people got lost and eventually gave up on the path, altogether, just running into the center to snap a selfie (admittedly, I’m guilty of the selfie thing, too, although I did get there honestly), I tried to keep my eyes on the ground. 

Keep your eyes on the ground?  Who gives that kind of advice?  Apparently… today… me…

Two years and two months ago, I lamented…  “It’s soaking wet and I’m freezing and I can’t remember how I got here!”  Today I think I know, but I’m not sure it matters anymore.  What does matter is that I have no desire, whatsoever, to be in the same place in another two years.  I was holding tightly to some stuff the first time I made this walk.  I was holding tightly to some stuff that didn’t come to pass, and maybe to some stuff that shouldn’t have come to pass, and I’ve grieved all of it so deeply that grief became my default.  I had a moment, this weekend, where I realized that in passionately grieving the past and present, I had actually begun to grieve the future, as well, and that’s just ridiculous!  I refuse to do that anymore.  “Each day has enough trouble of its own,” right?  Realism… (see Matt. 6:34).

I recently acquired a new favorite quote:

“She remembered who she was and the game changed.”
 -   Lalah Deliah

Remembering can be very, very good.  Revisiting can be very, very good.  Readjusting can be very, very good. 

New game…  Same goal…  Watch out…  This time, I know what I'm doing...



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