• Chad C. Betz

Lesson from the Labrynth

Any long journey or challenging goal can be an intimidating prospect. Whether it is the pursuit of a very challenging goal or an actual pilgrimage, there are times of hope and discouragement as you follow the path.

While on a retreat, I had the opportunity to walk a labyrinth. This labyrinth is a meandering circular path that symbolizes a purposeful journey. Labyrinths have been used through history to symbolize a pilgrimage for people who could not make an actual pilgrimage.

The labyrinth I walked is in a peaceful wooded area. It has a circular sculpture in the middle which symbolizes the end of the pilgrimage. The path through the labyrinth wanders back and forth until you reach the symbolic journey’s end. There is a point on the path where you are close enough to the end that you can reach out and touch it. The path then carries you away from the goal.

Even though there is only one path, I felt like I must have made a mistake. I seemed so close to my goal, but I was not. The path continued bringing me farther away, then closer, but not quite as close as the point where I could touch my goal. Just as I was wondering where this path was bringing me, I arrived at the center.

Many of our goals are like that. We get close to a goal only to be pulled away. The appearance of not progressing toward our goals can be confusing and discouraging. When we move farther from our goal, we begin to doubt ourselves. As in a pilgrimage, the cure for the discouragement in seeking your goal is faith. In the case of your goal, you need to have faith you can accomplish it. It is easy to give up. Resist the urge and push forward. Worthwhile goals are rarely easy.

“Leap and the net will appear.” John Burroughs

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