Emmaus Labyrinth #65: Marshallton United Methodist Church, West Chester

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 was a little one, a three-circuit classical labyrinth with inlaid brick walls and crushed stone path. It’s nestled in the parking lot behind Marshallton United Methodist Church.

I was starting to feel like my journey was reaching an end. This was the eighteenth labyrinth I’d walked in the last three days, and I was starting to run out of steam. I didn’t really have anything big or pressing or heavy on my mind anymore. So I thought I’d ask a light question: “What Bible character do I relate to now?”

For years, I felt a strong kinship with Jonah – after all, like Jonah, I had been running away from God’s call (in my case, to be a pastor). Like Jonah, I had a life-changing experience in a strange place where I spent several days (a whale’s belly for Jonah, a retreat in New Jersey for me). Like Jonah, I finally answered the call, and have been astonished at how God has made it work. But I don’t think I’m Jonah anymore. That was years ago, and I’ve changed. It occurred to me that I probably have a connection with a different biblical character now. I thought this labyrinth could help me discern who!

Some thoughts came to me while I walked…

…Peter was something of a mess, but always called to be better.

…Paul had his “thorn,” which I wrote about in my book, comparing it to my depression.

…John of Patmos had visions which he wrote about.

…The author of Ecclesiastes was something of an existentialist like me.

 …Samuel was in the temple from the beginning of his life, but faced some struggles.

All of these people seemed to sort of have something in common with me, but none of them fit quite right. The labyrinth was short, but I figured I’d have to work on this some more at the next labyrinth.

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