In RE (Religious Education, aka Sunday School) today, Kalen’s K/1 class learned about thresholds. Of course, at this age, the focus was on literal thresholds…places where we begin and end various physical journeys, entrances into our homes, etc. Of course, it leaves open the opportunity to segue nicely into a discussion about figurative thresholds, especially the threshold these little ones are on, beginning a spiritual journey that will last the rest of their lives. I think, however, that this figurative interpretation is best left to the parents for the time being, at least in our family. (Kalen’s response to these sorts of observations is usually something along the lines of, “Yeah, okay. Hey, Mom, look how Lego Batman can drive this car…*insert appropriate vehicular sound effects*”)
One of the class’s explorations of the threshold lesson was a visit to the small labyrinth outside the church. Labyrinths have an interesting spiritual history, dating (at least) to Ancient Greece and the story of Dedalus. They are used to represent spiritual journeys, as a meditation tool, etc. I was never one to discern symbolism easily on my own, but once the idea of a labyrinth or maze as a symbol for a spirtual journey was planted in my mind, I’ve never let go of that interpretation. I love the vision of a faceless someone twisting and turning along life’s paths.
As I relaxed for a few moments this afternoon with a Sudoku puzzle, it occurred to me that the labyrinthine model can be applied to it – that there are possibly dozens of everyday activities that act as a similar spiritual journey for those that engage in them. I thought about how I enter a Sudoku puzzle with a single numeral, and that numeral leads me to another, and another, and another, until eventually, with one final numeral, I exit the puzzle. I find Sudoku to be a meditative experience. Each puzzle contains many paths to completion, and gentle contemplation and perseverence will always lead to a solution.
Sudoku = Labyrinth = Life