Monday, July 07, 2008

Hedging Your Bets

This is the Jerusalem Mile recently installed at Richmond Hill. It is a prayer labyrinth modeled exactly off of a famous labyrinth at a cathedral in Chartes, France.

It's a literal way to walk your prayers. The path meanders and turns and changes direction and goes out when you think it should go in and goes in when you think it should go out--much like life and the life of prayer. (You can read Ben Campbell's--Richmond Hill's pastoral director--moving meditation about the Jerusalem Mile by visiting this link and downloading the June 2008 Update. If it's not available yet all of Ben's pastoral meditations are worth reading.)

It's a literal reminder that what you pray for isn't necessarily going to go the way you think and that to pray, really pray, you have to enter fully into the journey. But that's hard. Hard because real prayer requires surrender--of attitude, control, expectations, and even outcomes. Hard because prayer (and life) aren't fundamentally about being in control and getting my way. Prayer moves us closer to the center, not necessarily closer to answers.

Here's Hudson on the same Jerusalem Mile holding a gun (a cap pistol). A great picture of how most of us approach life and prayer. He's hedging his bets. Maybe, we think, if praying my way through life doesn't work out, well, then I've got it covered.
Just in case.
If things don't work out like I hoped.
On the off chance I lose control for a bit.
I will bus'-out-my-nine and take charge (that was my best attempt at gangsta speak).
So what 'guns' do you bring with you to prayer?
"...the eyes of the Lord range throughout the entire earth, to strengthen those whose heart is true to him."
2 Chronicles 16:9

2 comments:

Dale Best said...

Is that my friend, Scott Simmons, in the background who seems to have stopped somewhere along the way to talk to a female who he is about to pass?

urntjerry said...

Is your child holding a gun while standing on the prayer path? Not entirely appropriate, Scotto.

Either get your pistol-wielding child off the hallowed prayer grounds or stop praying all together. Your move, Holy Man.