Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Winding and Narrow

It's been a while since I last posted, and a lot has changed in that time. I just married a smart and adventurous young woman, and we moved to the Boston area to pursue our academic interests in grad school. So, new marriage, new city, new schools—there's quite a lot going on right now....

In the midst of all the craziness, I took a short break yesterday to walk a labyrinth in an open green space just outside one of the academic buildings at school. It was a cool morning with heavy gray skies and a soft breeze, and as I approached the labyrinth I took a moment to read the sign posted at the beginning. The sign pointed out something that I had never noticed before—the labyrinth has only one path to follow, so there is never any worry about getting lost. Although the path is narrow and winding, it will always take you to the center.

It seems to me that the labyrinth is a more fitting picture of my spiritual journey than the idea of the "straight and narrow road." For better or for worse, I can't manage to walk in a straight line. I can hear God calling out to me, but I keep losing my bearings. I'll be walking one direction and then suddenly God's voice will seem to be coming from way off to the left. I turn to follow, but it isn't long at all before I hear no voice at all. I begin to feel dizzy and disoriented and slowly I veer off another direction until I seem to be heading the opposite direction from before. Finally I hear God's voice again, but this time it is coming from directly in front of me. And on and on I go like that, winding around constantly losing my way.

But the wonderful thing is that I am not afraid. No matter how disoriented I may become, I know that I will never end up utterly lost. All of the twists and turns are part of the path that will one day lead me to the center.

If there is a straight and narrow road, I haven't found it yet. Perhaps it is somewhere near the end of the journey. Perhaps it doesn't exist at all. Either way, I'll continue winding along the path knowing full well that I'm always walking toward the center.


  1. It sounds to me like you are comfortable with the Mystery that surrounds us all. I'm not sure that the straight and narrow even exists, but I know a lot of people who are certain that it does, and each one of them are hell-bent on getting me to agree with and to conform to them. I am finding that the more comfortable I become with how little I really know, that my relationship with both God and others becomes much more relational and authentic in nature. I am glad to know another that seems to be journeying on a path not so different from the one I am traversing.

  2. I'm not sure that I'm fully comfortable with the Mystery, but I'm working on it....

    Perhaps we are wandering through the same labyrinth because it seems like we keep passing each other as we walk toward the center.


Let me know what you think....