At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered.
T. S. Elliot, 'Burnt Norton'
Today I'm taking a well deserved day off from studies. It's been a hectic couple of weeks, rather more taxing than I thought they would have been. The last week of term is always burdensome, but in addition I took part in an activity which required my whole self to be invested. And so, looking back this morning on the last weeks, I feel tired and in need of rediscovering the lifeline with God, the still point of my soul.
Every year our parish organizes a week of Guided Prayer. The aim of the week of guided prayer is to help the participant spend some time alone with God. In addition they have the rare opportunity to talk about what went on in prayer with someone who has had some experience of prayer him/herself. The fruit one hopes for is that the participant gets a taste of what gifts God has in store for those who turn to Him in expectation. What does the accompanier do? It's very simple: she or he listens. And when opportune, he or she assists the person who prays to discover where God has been.
It's been a great week, but very intense. And that, followed by the last week of term, made me feel this morning like needing a chill, like calling a time-out to God. So, putting aside the scruples I often feel when wanting some time out for myself – for there are so many productive things I could do – I took a day off. This brings me to sitting in a Starbucks on the Brixton Hill whilst listening to Dennis Grady and sipping a Chai Tea Latte. And as I am slowly finding my still point again, I start to discover a desire to say thank you for the last couple of weeks. So I ask myself the question I have so often asked the people whom I accompanied last week: 'Where was God in all this?' And I discover that despite my many misgivings, He has been working through me and with me. That despite my worries and many engagements, He was there as the still point of my turning world.