(Written on Sunday, September 27)
Today, after I prepared the altar for Eucharist, I went out to the patio at St. Mary's and walked the labyrinth.
I started walking around, keeping my eyes to the ground and my mind on praying. As I made it about 1/3 of the way through, I noticed a cigarette butt in my pathway, so I picked it up. As I continued, another butt, so I picked it up too. A little farther in was a broken clasp to a backpack, so I picked it up. As I neared the outer edge, I saw that there was a plastic bag laying by the bush. When I picked up the bag, I saw some cardboard that someone had written a "will work for help" cardboard sign that had blown under the bush, so I picked it up. As I continued walking and thinking, I picked up the trash and put it in my bag. Then, when I thought I'd been gone too long and better get back inside so I was on time, I walked by the outside garbage can and threw away the bag full of garbage.
I realized that those moments had been an allegory.
I started the journey for myself: I wanted to quietly meditate and walk before the service started.
As I walked in, at first I was totally caught up in my own thoughts, but after praying for a while, I noticed some garbage that needed to be taken care of directly in my path.
As I walked more and more, the more and more ways I saw to serve. A bag was provided, and I continued to see ways to improve the courtyard while still continuing on my path.
Isn't that so much like life? The more we pray and the closer we try to be to God, the more we see the "garbage" that needs to be taken care of and ways to be of service. The more we serve, the more we see ways prepared for us to help us help others. And so on, and on, and on.