There was a time in my life when, if I was asked, I would have likely said that the reason we move forward is because of some inner brokenness that we are longing to escape. It looks like that sometimes, I think. If we stick our finger with a needle while we’re sewing it seems that the reason we would want to avoid that is because, well, it hurts. Brokenness and what seems to break us brings pain. We don’t want pain, so we move forward to escape.
“In a labyrinth, like life, there is only one destination. We simply have to keep moving forward in order to find it.”
This is the 19th year of the Spirit & Place Festival and the festival will explore JOURNEY. This year’s festival will kick off with the building of a labyrinth in historic Fountain Square. The church I serve as Senior Pastor, The Church Within, will join with other churches, spiritual organizations, and a number of local businesses to collect cans from which this labyrinth will be built.
A labyrinth is a sort of physical metaphor for the journey we walk in life. A labyrinth isn’t a maze. In a maze there are dead ends. You can get lost. In a labyrinth, like life, there is only one destination. We simply have to keep moving forward in order to find it.
My own spiritual journey has felt, at times, more like a maze than a labyrinth. I am sure I am not alone. What began for me in a small-town, Presbyterian church continued through years of atheism to a broad understanding that there are many paths to the divine and that every one of those paths is unfolding within the divine.
The motivation to move forward, if you were to ask me now, isn’t about escaping pain; it is about accepting the invitation home. It is about being drawn forward, not running from. It is about embracing the gorgeousness that we create together. We aren’t escaping brokenness. Brokenness is a temporary understanding of a false idea. We’re remembering that we are already whole.
From November 7th through 16th, 2014, Spirit & Place events all over the city will invite us to reflect on the many facets of personal and collective journey as well as the what, how, when, where and why of our moving and growing through life. Who among us couldn’t benefit from a few steps forward next to other journeyers?
Reverend Darren Chittick is the Senior Pastor of The Church Within in Fountain Square. He is an Indiana native, a country boy moved to the city, and he regularly enjoys growing food, knitting, martial arts and an interfaith understanding that finds a seat at the table for everyone. No one left out. If you want to know more about his work, check out http://www.thechurchwithin.org.