Saturday: The Pastor as one who Plays

It’s Saturday, and the Sisters sleep in.  Morning Praise is at 9 this morning rather than 8 as it is on weekdays. A group of the Women Touched by Grace have left early to run/walk/support the half marathon taking place in Indianapolis this morning.  We rearranged the schedule, and Sabbath time continues because I have the morning off.  This afternoon Teri will lead a session on the Pastor as one who plays.

I’m basking in great joy today because my daughter was awarded the James Beard Foundation journalism award last night for individual food blog.  She has worked so very hard for nearly ten years writing a fabulous blog,  and I am over the moon.  She started writing her blog in the very early days of blogging, and it is a treasure–beautiful photographs taken by her; delicious recipes created by her, inspired by her faraway Texas home; precious stories retold in her wonderful style.  She had already received many professional accolades for her blog, and has gone on to share the joy with two cookbooks inspired by the blog (but with even more new recipes, photographs, and stories).


I’ve spent more time than usual on Facebook reading her accolades, and happened upon the news that today is World Labyrinth Day.  I hadn’t walked the monastery labyrinth since Wednesday (a long time away for me) so wanted that to be part of my Sabbath morning.  Do you know that you get a lot of Fitbit steps in walking a labyrinth?  Woo hoo!

Crushing in almost too little time to walk the labyrinth before noonday prayers and posting this blog, I was met on the way by the unexpected gift of a family of five goslings and their very protective mom and dad.


 I’m told that there were three families of wild geese that nested on the grounds of the monastery.  One of them decided the roof of the chapel was the place to make their home.  Worship has often been punctuated by the loud honks of the mom and dad who stood guard over their babies.

As I continued my walk toward the labyrinth, a safe distance from the goslings (you only have to get too close once to know what it feels like to be attacked by a wild goose), I noticed how very much they looked like the spring grass and dandelions.  Not only protected by their parents, they had the perfect baby camouflage layette.


As I began my labyrinth walk, I noticed that the goose family had kept their saunter across the grounds in tandem with me.  In a parallel fashion, there the family of seven were–doing their own labyrinth in the grass, not twisting and turning, of course, but moving in a steady forward fashion.


My detour of enjoying the wild goose family meant that I only walked the way into the labyrinth center before having to walk straight out to noonday prayers.  This is something I never do.  I always start and finish a labyrinth.  I never take a short cut out.  But today, a pastor who plays, walking the returning labyrinth path steps by praying with the Sisters in the chapel in order to have time enjoy a goose family felt holy indeed.


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