activity, centering prayer, cyclic life, dancer, divine dance, eternal, flow, hearts, list, Lord, mind, Quaker, schedule, taize, The Sophia Center for Spirituality, waltz, work week
Today is Monday, the traditional beginning of the work week for most people. For me it is always a time to “gear up” and make a list (or add to my already long one) of the things I hope to accomplish in the week ahead. Then there is the “long term list” of events that will be taking place in this season of spring into summer…As I began that litany in my mind, I realized again how cyclic life is for me and how much better I respond to it if I hold the schedule lightly so it flows like a dance rather than a race. Let me explain.
My work as the program director for the Sophia Center has a few on-going offerings: centering prayer every two weeks on Wednesdays, Taizé on the fourth Sunday of the month (but not next Sunday because of Memorial Day which is the unofficial beginning of summer), etc. Then there are the individual events or series which we have found to be less successful in the summer if just judged by the numbers, when life slows down a little and vacations punctuate the weeks.
At the same time that we are slowing to a waltz at Sophia, the rhythm at the Spiritual Center where I live is picking up as the temperature rises. Only open from May to October, the Center is blooming with the flowers and activity here goes forward like a well-oiled machine: spring cleaning, mowing the lawn, planning menus and shopping…all in preparation to welcome friends new and old who come to renew their commitment to spiritual practice or, occasionally, just to relax.
I am grateful for this alternation of levels of activity as it allows me to focus on the most important work of all: attention to the people who enter the dance at any point in the on-going music of my life. Yesterday as I was working in the kitchen for the first of my “on-duty” weekends serving workshop participants at home, one of the Quaker melodies from last week ran through my mind consistently – a perfect reminder to be open to any encounter. Ye have no time but the present time (3X), therefore prize your time, for your soul’s sake, I sang. This morning it was another tune that carried me to coffee. Mind that which is eternal, which gathers your hearts together up to the Lord, and lets you see that ye are written in one another’s hearts.
Presence to the moment while also conscious of the flow of eternal time is a rare achievement in this world of ours but as our world turns and we allow the turning, we begin to notice the patterns. It is then that gratitude enters, for the opportunity to partner with the Divine Dancer who leads us so seamlessly that we cannot get lost.