My husband lovingly calls this the "Look a squirrel!" problem. I distract easily. My mind wanders. I can pull it back; I'm not completely without will power. Still, a few seconds later, off it goes again. This problem makes listening for the quiet voice of God all but impossible.
Then someone mentioned walking meditation. I love to walk so I went online and found an article. I was immediately disappointed. I don't have a meditative garden to walk through, but then the author mentioned something else. A labyrinth.
A church near my own has a Chartres-style labyrinth. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has only one path. It twists and turns, like life, but there are no dead ends. You follow the path in to the center and then retrace it back out.
I paid the labyrinth a visit.
Walking slowly along the winding path, I considered a problem that had been bothering me. No long or elaborate prayer. I simply asked, "What should I do?" At a turn in the path, I glimpsed something overhead. I stopped and watched a red tail hawk ride the wind. I continued on and then paused as a sparrow hopped from branch to branch in a nearby tree. I listened to water trickling down a fountain. When I reached the center of the labyrinth, I waited, breathing deeply, then I retraced the path outward, stopping to look and listen to the world around me. Long before I completed the path, I knew what I needed to do.
Walking the labyrinth has become part of my regular prayer life. My requests are seldom specific, but I always leave with an answer. The movement and the natural scenery, even the occasional squirrel, occupy me enough that my mind isn't canting off to parts unknown. It may not be right for everyone, but it is a path that allows me to hear His responses to my prayer.
Listening for You
Time and time again,
I bring my concerns and worries to You.
But when I try to hear Your voice,
something always gets in the way.
The phone rings.
The oven timer goes off.
Someone calls my name.
Please help me find a time,
a place, a way to hear
what it is You need to tell me.
I know You will speak to me.
I simply need Your help
to find the space and the quiet to hear
what You have to say.
-Sue Bradford Edwards