Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Turning toward the Cross: Labyrinth Experience, Pt 1 of 5

Two weeks ago, I sat in a recording studio for a day and a half. After recording 24 segments of teaching, I was wasted. I found myself at the end of my emotions. So I told Kendall, the guy directing the project, that I needed to go to the prayer garden located on the church campus. As I walked around, I noticed a labyrinth week. I had read a lot about praying through a labyrinth but I had never done so myself. So I walked toward it.

I had read and heard from others that when praying through a labyrinth, things come up within you that you don't expect. This made no logical since to me. I had walked and prayed many times. What's the difference? But as I neared the entrance, which at first I could not locate, I found myself not wanting to step in. I wanted to just keep walking and get back to work. It was not that I was afraid of meeting with God or that I was full of pride and self-sufficiency. I was so tired that I had no pride left. I had gotten to a place of having nothing left and at that point I realized a core fear. I was afraid that meeting with God would be less than what I expected, that he might not even be there to meet with me.

At the center of this labyrinth was a cross. I find it easy to try to make a difference in the world without a trip to the cross. After all, we know what God wants us to do. We've been taught to evangelize, to feed the poor, to love our neighbors. There is something within all of us that resists the daily journey to the cross. I've heard preachers confront this mentality all my life by telling us that we are selfish, self-sufficient, and self-diluted. And while these things are a part of our resistance to movement toward the cross, I've found that they are only the facade to much greater fears within that keep us from letting go.

Mine was a fear that God might not be there to meet with me. My Bible teaching about how God will never leave me did not matter within the core of my being. This was not about logic. This was about my deep experience of God. What I assumed was pride was actually a deep illogical fear. I learned something new about myself and what often keeps me from meeting with God.

What keeps you from taking steps toward Jesus?

See Part 2 of this series here.

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