It will be Lent soon, so here is one of a few Lent books I will be sharing with you. This beautiful one, 40 Days with Labyrinths, is part of a Book Tour. I love Book Tours, and I am so glad to share this one with you!
40 Days with Labyrinths is a special book, and just looking at the cover made me want to read it. It’s not just a Lent devotional, it is a colouring book as well! The book starts with an introduction, as not everyone is familiar with labyrinths. I first learned about labyrinths in the book, The Edge of Recall, by Kristen Heitzmann. It’s a thriller, and is set around an architect who is an expert in designing labyrinths.
40 Days with Labyrinths has plenty of explanation for you, showing the difference between a labyrinth and a maze. This is not a book with puzzles, as a labyrinth won’t take you on false turns or dead-ends. Labyrinths symbolise a journey, a path for you to wander. Some lead to a central point, for you to return the way you came (Don’t panic, it’s a book, simply close the book and you’re back home!), others go through and come out at the other side. The labyrinths in 40 Days with Labyrinths are hand drawn, and are sometimes based on ancient labyrinths, but some are contemporary.
As you might know, I’m not a keen walker, although our adorable puppy is teaching me to enjoy our morning walks. The idea of walking a labyrinth fascinates me though, and having walked the odd one, I can feel the calm it can bring and the joy of following the path. Especially when using the labyrinth for prayer points or Bible meditation, simply thinking about the Word of God whilst following a trail.
Fay Rowland, the author, has done a marvellous job with 40 Days with Labyrinths. Each day in Lent has a labyrinth, a reading, a devotional , a prayer, something to explore further and a walking through the labyrinth suggestion. It’s all written in a breezy way, definitely not dragging you down, but rather uplifting, encouraging and engaging.
40 Days with Labyrinths made me happy, as there are no numbered days, no fixed order in which to read the book. There are 8 topics, with 5 days’ worth of devotions, but can be read in any order. How wonderful is that!? No need to feel guilty if you feel drawn to a certain labyrinth one day, no need to read the devotional just to tick a holy box, but simply choose the day that speaks to you that day, and embark on the walk!
40 Days with Labyrinths gives many ideas for ways to prays and walk the paper labyrinths, helping you to feel at home. There is no fixed way of doing this book, welcoming you rather into the different patterns. I enjoyed reading the different suggestions, as one labyrinth might invite a particular way of walking. Some are made for dashing around with abandon, maybe repeating the freeing pattern a few times, others are made for slow movement, stopping at each turn to stop and gaze at the Cross in wonder.
That is the beauty of 40 Days with Labyrinths: just like any labyrinth, there are no traps, pitfalls, hidden twists or anything like that. Of course, in the book I first read about labyrinths, The Edge of Recall, it was all about traps and dangers, but that’s for a different kind of enjoyment. 40 Days with Labyrinths is all about Lent, about walking with Jesus. And although the devotionals aren’t long, the content stays with you, making you, and maybe walk the labyrinth several times, the shapes helping you to stay with each thought. I found the illustrations helped me to remember the words, and colouring each labyrinth would help as well. Combining pictures, actions and words is such a lovely way of reading. I have a feeling I will have done the entire book before it’s even Lent!
I received a copy of 40 Days with Labyrinths via Fay Rowland but was under no pressure or obligation to write a favourable review.