METAPHORS FOR LIFE

Avatar_DavidBentley I've seen it hundreds of times, but I watched it happen again this week. A small child ran through the labyrinth at St. David's Church, giggling all the way. Sometimes a parent will encourage such behavior and even chase the child. Other parents, fearful that the child's behavior will be seen as irreverent, scold their child or step in front of the running child to slow down the pace. Either way, I have a theory about people moving through the labyrinth.

Throughout my training as a labyrinth facilitator, I was taught to take EVERYTHING that happens in the labyrinth as a metaphor for life. When someone became upset because they got confused and never reached the center of the labyrinth, my trainer said, "Take everything that happens in the labyrinth as a metaphor for life." When someone spontaneously crawled, danced or sang their way through the labyrinth, my trainer said, "Take everything that happens in the labyrinth as a metaphor for life."

When a man wandered into Grace Cathedral from the streets of San Francisco and began walking the labyrinth while shedding a piece of clothing every 50 feet or so, no one dared to speak because they knew our trainer was mentally saying, "Take everything that happens in the labyrinth as a metaphor for life." Later, when the man picked up each article of clothing and put it on as he walked out of the labyrinth, each facilitator knew that somehow this was also a metaphor for life.

This week, when I saw the child running through the labyrinth and laughing, I wanted to do the same thing. Of course I restrained myself for fear of frightening the child or the parent or both. Instead I watched from a distance while smiling and knowing that someday I'll need to address such metaphorical fears and restraints.

So, when you see me running and laughing through the labyrinth at St. David's, come and join me, if you feel the urge. The world could certainly use a little more fun and silliness, and it was that metaphorical child who led the way.

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About David Bentley

Avatar_DavidBentleyDavid Bentley, M.Ed., is an avid observer of people, places and events. He uses his storytelling and questioning skills to help himself and others think outside the box in an ever-changing world.

Comments about his column can be sent to davidbentley@sanjuanislander.com

© 2014 David Bentley