Where has the year gone? No really, where has it gone? November seems to have passed by at the speed of light. What to say about it?
My nephew started walking and celebrated his first birthday – in that order. Woohoo! There’ll be no stopping him now.
I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer. About what it means and what it looks like. What it means for me. What it means for the church. Recently I came across this wonderful description of prayer by Michael Hollings and Etta Gullick*:
The important thing about prayer is that it is almost indefinable. You see, it is: hard and sharp, soft and loving, deep and inexpressible, shallow and repetitious, a groaning and a sighing.
A silence and a shouting, a burst of praise digging deep down into loneliness, into me. Loving. Abandonment to despair, a soaring to heights which can be only ecstasy, dull plodding in the greyness of mediocre being – laziness, boredom, resentment.
Questing and questioning, calm reflection, meditation, cogitation. A surprise at sudden joy, a shaft of light, a laser beam. Irritation at not understanding, impatience, pain of mind and body hardly uttered or deeply anguished.
Being together, the stirring of love shallow, then deeper, then deepest. A breathless involvement, a meeting, a longing, a loving, an inpouring.
Watch this space, because I still have a lot to learn about prayer and I’d like to invite you along on the journey with me.
This month I also discovered the rose garden and the labyrinth at the Waite Aboretum. The first time it was filled with people and children. This last Sunday I returned and was able to walk the labyrinth on my own, the birds singing in the trees my musical accompaniment.
And I was reminded of the joy of thanksgiving, especially in the company and community of others.
*quoted in A silence and a shouting: meditations and prayers by Eddie Askew.
What has November looked like for you?