Walking Meditation: Walk a Labyrinth

Matthew 6:26-29 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to your life’s span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.”

First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown has been working since June to lay bricks to build a labyrinth.  The labyrinth is in a beautiful spot at the back of the parking lot.

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We are encouraged by the support we have received for this project.  A Challenge to Change grant from Hudson River Presbytery provided start-up funds. Members of the congregation gave their time (and in some cases, equipment!) to clear the land and plant the bricks. Lynn Brown has supported us from the beginning, providing guidance every step of the way, and laying out our beautiful Santa Rosa pattern. And members of the community have helped dig in bricks.

The Nearly everyone who has come to work, or to support those who are working, has commented on the space. Words like “calming,” “spiritual,” “special” have been used. space does feel special. There’s often a gentle breeze that blows through the trees. One day we were working and a bird followed the backhoe, waiting to eat whatever insects we unearthed. Another day, when Lynn Brown, Anne Corey and I were laying out the design, a butterfly kept us company.

Whenever I walk a labyrinth, I feel calm. Or at least I feel less anxious. This verse from Matthew comes to mind: And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to your life’s span? The Common English Bible translates this verse this way: “Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life?”

Worry. Anxiety. These constant companions can distract me from the present and take me away from observing “the birds of the air” and “the lilies of the field.” For me, walking a labyrinth is a form of prayer, a walking meditation. I take a moment to pause, consider my prayerful intention for the walk, and then I walk. Slowly walking a labyrinth, outdoors, feeling the sun on my face and a breeze at my back I am reminded that God is everywhere. God cares for creation and all that is in it.

Our labyrinth will be ready for walking in the Spring. Dear reader, consider this an invitation to join us at the labyrinth dedication and walk away your worry and anxiety! And if you can’t walk ours, find one to walk at the world-wide labyrinth locator.

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Connie Knapp is a Ruling Elder at First Presbyterian Church in Yorktown and a participant in the Commissioned Ruling Elders program of the Hudson River Presbytery.

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