The other day I had one of my two (oooo, no finals these days) exams. There was a book I needed to return to the main library I had for the subject, so before I met a friend for lunch (and before the exam) I headed up there to drop it off. My initial intention was to go straight to where I was meeting my friend, grab a brew and read through my notes. I did do that, but there was a diversion first.
I remembered about the labyrinth in George Square and felt drawn to walk it. There was so much about the labyrinth which, as I walked, echoed not only the faith journey of every believer, but (for me) the ministry training journey.
At the entrance, you can see where the destination is. Initially, it seems you are heading there very quickly, but the path twists and turns and wanders - further and further from the centre. As you walk it, you don't loose sight of the centre - the destination - despite all the twists and turns. Then, really at the point where it seems you may be furthest away from getting to the centre of the labyrinth, you arrive, almost unexpectedly. (Well, that's how it worked in my head anyway).
As I walked, I felt a deep sense of calm, as if the burdens of the past academic year were melting away. This walk wasn't about destressing me for an exam, but renewing and invigorating me for the journey ahead. As I walked, I was initially concerned how the walk would work and what I should do. After a few paces, I realised that, despite the busyness around, there was a quietness in this place - or maybe within me. I only heard the sound of the robin and blackbirds seeking food for their young.
As I walked, the words "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has called me to preach the Good News to the poor" came to me. They washed over me. Yes, they paraphrase Luke 4:18, but the essence is there. In that walk, I felt in a way I have not for a long time God's spirit coming to be, God's hand upon me, walking and talking to me. Affirming me in my call to ministry. Loving me into his service.
As I walked my way out of the labyrinth, I walked into the sound and noise and busyness of the day around me. But I walked with a renewed sense of God guiding and leading me on my journey in his service.