Toys, Tech, and Labyrinths

This post is really brought to you by Abraham Pace!

 I enjoy Facebook.

And Instagram.

And for a bit I even did Snap Chat.

It can all be time wasters and gossip creators. But, you know, so could the television and the telephone.

I love social media for the connections. People are amazing.

And so this post is simply my Facebook find of the day.

There was once a boy who sometimes came to Church of the Apostles in Columbia, SC.

That boy’s name is Danilo.

Miss Melanie hardly knew him.

But she remembers his face – his eyes and his hair. And his behavior easily qualified him as a good kid.

Danilo moved away.

Miss Melanie heard about him from his dad’s Facebook posts.

Together, he and his dad and his younger siblings did this:

  
This is a Lego labyrinth.

The dad’s corresponding post described labyrinths:

Teaching the kids about “Prayer Labyrinths” a labyrinth is different than a maze in that it only has one entrance and no wrong turns. It was developed as a prayer tool by the Knights Templar and one of the most famous ones is at the Chartres Cathedral in France. The idea is that one walks the path in contemplative prayer. On the way in is the prayer of asking forgiveness or cleansing. Once at the center one prays for enlightenment and as one walks back out the way they came in the prayer is one of doing. The Lutheran Seminary in Columbia, SC has a beautiful one. This lego one my kids and I built last week.

Beautiful.

I liked the post. I commented.

I added several friends to the conversation, ones who had spoken of Legos or labyrinths.

I said, “I want that on my blog.”

Notifications popped up.

When the dad replied to someone else, I discovered there was also a mine craft labyrinth.

After we built this one Danilo and I built one in Minecraft. We enhanced it with an elevated sun room at the center with a tree growing on top and instead of being a pattern on the floor we created it with high walls.

Oh, I asked a bunch of questions.

And I got a private message.

I was told it didn’t have to stay private.

So here it is, straight from Danilo’s dad. The story of Legos and Labyrinths.

My oldest boy, Danilo, is 9 now and his sister, Natalia, is 7 and their youngest brother, Elias, is 5. I have been telling them about prayer labyrinths for a while now but I do not think that I had shown them a picture. Last weekend was cold (its always cold in Michigan) and so I was looking for an idea of something to build. We have built spiders, Star Wars toys and the last thing we built was a bridge. That does not include the constant building of the small projects. I did not have a picture of the labyrinth when I built the lego one so I had to do it as best I could from memory. It took us at least two hours and we stopped at some point in the middle to do other things. My kids had to sacrifice a lot of their structures so that we could collect enough square blocks. I designed it on paper before starting. There is only one path in and no wrong turns. In this case I did not consider it praying while I was building it but it definitely was more meaningful than just build a random thing. After we finished the lego version I put my two youngest to bed and then Danilo and I built the one in Minecraft. He did most of the work because he is really good at it and he had a lot ideas. It definitely bonded us and was fun for him to have more time on Minecraft. I may leave the lego one up for another week and then we are starting to think about build the tabernacle. I am tech and minecraft challenged but I just asked Danilo and he said that other people would not be able to access it because it was done on “pocket edition”. In the minecraft version the prayer room in the center is just the ideal place I would love to have to pray. I have been teaching my kids about the “tree of life” and the “giving tree” so it also is a prayer tool. In the warmer days of the year we have been known to find a big tree to sit, look, meditate and pray by. I am trying to teach my kids the art of being quiet and to listen to nature. At the same time to let nature lead them to praying to God.

I’ll be waiting for the tabernacle.

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