This is one of a series of posts about a trip I took to walk labyrinths in July 2022. See this post to see why I refer to these labyrinths as my “Emmaus labyrinths.” Note: the numbering refers not to how many labyrinths I walked on this trip, but to the total number I’ve blogged about so far.
This labyrinth, at Church of the Redeemer, is a “Caerdroia,” an ancient Welsh design, very similar to a classical labyrinth. The main difference is that the outer shape of the labyrinth is not a perfect circle, but rather has a straight line on one side. The path of this labyrinth is mown grass and the walls are inlaid bricks.
This was the fourth labyrinth I walked on the first day of my trip. It was still hot and sunny, and being tired was still on my mind from the last labyrinth. As I drove there, I thought about how, if I were home, I might just take a nap right about now! It’s the middle of the afternoon, too miserable to do anything, why not just sit out an hour or too? Napping is something I only started regularly doing a few years ago, and I have always had a complicated relationship with it. In one way, it feels like self-care. But in another way, it feels lazy and self-indulgent. I could never tell if napping was a good choice or not. I certainly think it can be taken too far, and I have sometimes done so.
So the question I brought into the labyrinth was, “What can I do when I just want to rest too much?”
Just walk with me, I heard a voice say. Just walk with me. I am the cloud that makes the hot sun more tolerable. Indeed, when I was about halfway into the center, the sun was obscured by clouds, and it started to feel much better. Just walk with me.
I thought that perhaps in those so frequent moments when I just want to play video games, or take a nap, or something else equally “unproductive,” I can spend some time with God. That makes sense, but here’s the thing: I sometimes run away from time with God, especially when I’m tired. Because I view time spent with God as so intense and so tiring. It feels like God always challenges me and pushes me to do more, and I so often think I need to have a lot of energy on hand. But here’s the lesson of this labyrinth: time spent with God doesn’t have to be intense all the time. Sometimes it’s restful instead. And what’s more, even if it does become intense, then God will provide the energy I need!
Sometimes walking with God can just be a stroll. So when I want to rest, fine – rest. But invite God into the rest with me.