Friday, March 20, 2009

Walking a New Path

During the first weekend of Lent, our church hosted a spiritual formation retreat, two days devoted to exploring new spiritual practices with the idea that you would latch on to one and instead of just giving up something for the season, take on a new practice. Joy was one of the organizers and helped us in praying the hours, a practice stretching back to antiquity that forms the basis of much of Western music.

One of the greatest things about the retreat was the inclusion of our children. Childcare was provided both down the hall for older kids and in the nursery for the babies, but the children joined us at every meal and for the hours and they practiced the disciplines on their own as well. Since we did things like praying in color you can easily imagine the children taking part, but what about walking a labyrinth? Walking a labyrinth is an ancient prayer technique that lends itself to quiet meditation, reflection, and communion. Children running on the labyrinth seems antithetical, but my church is now realizing that no matter if you actively stay in the lines as you walk:or strike off on your own:
you are participating and striving to know God. As a parent, leading my children intellectually comes naturally; leading them spiritually takes work. It is nice to be part of a church that makes it a little bit easier.

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