This is an image of the labyrinth at Chiara Center in Springfield, IL. I love to walk a labyrinth. Usually they are present in the most peaceful of places. This one certainly is. Before I begin, I clear my mind of thoughts and try to concentrate on what God is saying to me as I walk. This particular day, I began with my Novitiate experiences in my thoughts. I felt that I was setting out like it was July 16, 2016, the first day. I felt the strangeness of each twist or turn on the labyrinth as a new experience ripe with possibilities. Some parts of the trail were long and the path stretched straight forward comfortably without any obstacles. Sometimes, there were twists or turns every few feet. Much like the life in general.
When I approached the center, I was reminded that my Canonical Novitiate year is nearing the end, but this is just the middle. I have my Apostolic Year, the second year of Novitiate. As I stood in the center of the Labyrinth and pondered the thought of the next year, I could only stand there and think of all the changes that are about to happen and surrender them to God and be thankful for the journey. Being at this crossroad is by far one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I stood there in complete trust and peace, knowing that the journey ahead is marked out for me and I need to take the steps needed to trust in the newness of the second part of this journey.
As I prepared to walk out of the Labyrinth I stood there for a few minutes and wondered, how can I walk out of the labyrinth since I don’t know the where the second half will lead me? Was I stuck there?
I chose at that moment to retrace my experiences, the actual events that made up my Canonical Year. As I walked, I remembered the good times and the struggles and was thankful for all those experiences.
At one point, I found myself looking ahead on the path, to see how much longer until I will be out of the labyrinth. I felt a nudge from God, to stay in the moment. Don’t look ahead. Keep your eyes on the path in front of you. Not only did that help me stay in the moment there, it is something I will remember when my Apostolic Year begins and a new journey brings its own twists and turns and I am tempted to think ahead.
I was reminded that God is guiding me every step of the way, my job is to trust Him with the journey.