Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Little Gidding early in the morning - while trying to sort out the work life balance

Until this morning I thought Little Gidding was simply one of the stanza's in T.S. Elliot's the Four Quartet's Which begins:
"Midwinter spring is its own season
Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown..."
and ends with quotes from Julian of Norwich
"And all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well when the tongues of flame are in-folded into the crowned knot of fire and the fire and the rose are one."
But lying in bed this morning after being rudely awakened by the alarm I'd forgotten to switch off we listened to BBC radio 4's prayer for the day I learnt that it is actually a place where a religious community grew. Anyway I really appreciated Canon Noel Vincent's morning meditation (full text below).
In the meantime blogging seems to have become my main way of dealing with the work-life balance, well at least I seem to watch a lot less TV as a result. Of course you have to have some kind of life in order to be able to blog so maybe that helps with the balance too!Here 's Noel Vincent's prayer for the day:
People are rightly concerned nowadays about their work/life balance.They reach a point where more money doesn't bring increased happiness,and pressure of work means they're missing out on more importantthings - children growing up, keeping themselves fit and healthy andpursuing activities which add quality to their lives. It's not a new problem. Nearly 400 years ago two men decided to adjusttheir lives to make space for the spiritual side, to enhancerelationships within their families and to express their concern forthe needy. One of them was the well-known politician, poet and hymn writer,George Herbert. The other was a successful businessman few have heard of called Nicholas Ferrar. The Ferrars moved their extended family into an abandoned and dilapidated hamlet called Little Gidding, closeto the village where Herbert was Vicar. They restored the manor and the church and began to live a simple life. They got on with their work and met together regularly to pray. And importantly, gave time to sharing meals and valuing each other. In 1977 the community was revived. A group moved once more into LittleGidding and adopted a similar rule of life. It's the centre of an informal religious community that accepts members from any Christianbackground, ordained or lay, married or single. They have non-resident members too who accept the discipline. A significant part of their common life is to value silence andexamine priorities. To quote part of the rule, all members reviewtheir lives "to find the right balance between prayer, work andleisure; and their use of money and other resources".

Help us Lord, to take time to examine our lives, to make properuse of the resources we have for the benefit of all, and, forourselves, to find time to spend peacefully in your presence. Amen