There’s someone on my bike route with a fun sense of humor. I’ve never met them, but each time I bike, the trail of lightness they’ve left behind makes me smile.
Midway through my bike ride, these folks’ lighter way of seeing the world reminds me to look up and enjoy the trail of lightness God also leaves in the world, not just with the beauty he pours out and the peace and comfort he offers, not just with his kind gift of Sabbath and his lavish command to his people to celebrate – even, sometimes, inviting them to take the tithe they were bringing him and use it to host a party – but also with his sense of humor.
A donkey’s bray, a duck’s quack, a giraffe’s long neck and a zebra’s stripes—it seems like God had a lot of fun playing with color and shape and sound as he spoke each animal into being. And maybe, on family vacations when my Dad and brother and sister-in-love get into a pun fest with wordplays flying across the table or around the room, God’s sense of humor is finding wings through the mouths of these ones created in his image.
I had my own different sort of encounter with God’s sense of humor and invitation to play this week. I was tracing my finger along a finger labyrinth as part of a prayer exercise our soulcare group was doing, asking God how he might want to meet me as I journey the twists and turns of this life on my way closer to him who is at the center of everything.
The path felt long and I felt impatient: too many turns, too many of them seemingly taking me further from the center when I wanted to move closer in. I struggled to stay in my chair and keep journeying. Like a child on a long car trip, I just wanted to get there. But once I reached the center, my coloured pencils caught my eyes and I sensed an invitation to play.
I chose three of the pencils, holding all of them in my hand at once, and began to trace a 3-color path back along the trail. At the next turn of the path, I swapped out one of the pencils, replacing it with another color. At the following turn, another color was swapped out and replaced.
This time I didn’t want the journey to end. This time I felt like a child skipping along a country road with her father or brother, running ahead to explore and then back to show him what she had found.
Sometimes I need to be reminded of the things I know, and running through the labyrinth, leaving a trail of color behind, this was what I remembered: God isn’t just at the end of our journey. He’s walking (or maybe sometimes skipping) the path with us.
And what the Westminister catechism says is humankind’s chief end, to glorify God and enjoy him forever? Both glorifying and enjoying start now as we keep waking up to who God is—yes, the magnificent King of the universe who calls for our complete allegiance, and also our Father and brother and friend who walks through the moments with us, delighting in us as we delight in his humor and creativity and kindness, living and loving and laughing together.
If you’d like to try something creative with your own prayer journey, you can download a printable finger labyrinth here, and a copy of the questions we used in our soul care group to begin our prayer journey using the form below. I hope you have fun journeying with Jesus along the path! (Just a warning: Be prepared to dispense with the questions along the way if Jesus meets you and takes you in a completely different direction as he did me!)