Above is a labyrinth I built in Winters, Texas. It was built during a time of transition, a transition I desired and embraced. I thought it would be the transition which would provide the opportunities for spiritual growth, professional practice and a connected community that would take me to the end of my days of service this side of eternity.
However, like the labyrinth, life has a way of taking us in different directions on our walk with God. There is ultimately one destination, but ranges of stages and circumstances.
Today, I find myself starting over. The decision to do so formed by circumstances and situations, deceptions and distortions I never expected to face. At first, this reality was terrifying. The games which were being played and the manipulations would have rivaled any reality show on TV. I did not know who I could trust. I did not know who I could believe. I was told my idealism was my flaw and those who told me they could be trusted proved they could not. I wanted to fight back. My mind began to turn to lawyers and thought out retaliation of my own design.
Our sin nature has enormous power when we are hurt and fearful.
Then came a time of consolation. I was given a gift of peace that came out of nowhere. I would start again. It would be hard, but I have been in hard places before. It would require escaping the mental videos and emotional loops which were dominating so much of my waking thought. I would need to have faith and trust that the consolation I received was from God.
But these are opportunities, not obstacles. I had made a turn in the labyrinth of my life.
I can remember a time in my life that all I had was an old car and a low paying job. It was perhaps the time my faith was most confirmed. It was a time in which I discovered the great joy in my life outside of my walk with God. It was the time I met the love of my life and my soulmate.
I have more resources now than then, but I do not yet have a means of new income. I also do not have quite as much energy as 40 years ago. I do, however, have a history of experiences and confident assurances that God will provide what I need and that my calling is not yet over. I already have found a community of faith that has uplifted my soul and soothed the pain of being cast off by a group that claims to be compassionate and connected (obviously, these words show I still have a bit of healing to do). Yet, God has already opened doors for opportunities to touch lives and build the faith of others.
Perhaps this starting over stuff is not so bad after all. The labyrinth of life still has one goal and the path seems as hopeful as ever.