“At the still point, there the dance is.”
I’ve muttered this back to myself, rolled it on my tongue, let it shift into the creases of my mind for months.
“At the still point, there the dance is…”
Amidst this long and befuddling poem of Eliot’s, in this quote, there the truth is. A truth that took 8 or 9 months to unfold.
Stillness. Rest. How can a place of rest (cessation of movement), be in fact a place of universal dance? How can an epicenter of change also be the respite of motion?
When thinking of this line, I imagined a ballerina-stepping center stage alone, after crowded chorus numbers. As she breathes, focuses on the music, the timing–she is still. For a moment….and then, the dance. Beautifully, peacefully, the dance.
I know in these months, God has so passionately desired for me to reach this place-to be the ballerina waiting to move to the music. Months were spent rushing, rushing, rushing. Rushing into jobs, relationships, situations-continuous, chaotic motion.
I had my “aha” moment a few weeks ago, when after a particularly busy day I chose to stop. Just stop. Lay it down. Let it all go, breathe, turn to Jesus, and relax. When I did this, it was as if someone had handed me a great golden key, and the locked door swung wide to the Reason of the universe: Jesus. Turning to Him and breathing, choosing to let my wearisome thoughts drop from my mind to His feet and just enjoy His presence–there was the stillness. Just when I thought the white noise of peace and silence was the final lesson, then the dance began: Relationship With Jesus. Spending most of your life in this relationship has a lot of seasons to it: ups and downs, joyous, grievous….and here I find myself in another. It’s trusting in the stillness that there are lessons, that there is movement, there is purpose and there is deep, deep relationship.
The eye of a storm is the center: to get to it, once must go through the storm. If you were whipped through a hurricane before reaching the eye, you’d arrive bare and bruised and ready to embrace the calm. This is how it was for me getting to this place. I had been stripped of the things I thought were important, torn from my worries, and whirled around until I was dead center of it all, with nothing else to lose. Perfect. In this quiet there is the richest of loves–something better than I could ever find on my own.
I don’t have answers for my life or future…..yet I do have direction. I don’t feel panic about decisions….I don’t even panic if this will fade and I will start panicking agian…because now I know the secret of peace. Trusting the leading of Jesus, through the chaos and into the calm where He lives, to do nothing but breathe and let Him teach the dance of Trust. Again, and again, and again…..all my life probably.
It’s a daily habit, a way of life, this “Resting in God”. But now I have tasted, it is so much easier to find my way to that place.
“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is…”