NOTE TO READERS
What started off as a fun idea for a blog post downshifted into a somewhat depressing and revealing exercise for me: There is so much more I could be doing if I were truly yearning and striving to be a faithful servant.
Maybe I'm merely worried about being a "good enough" Quaker and not putting enough attention or energy into being a true servant of the Spirit. Or maybe my few moments of deep faithfulness, humble obedience, and feeling well used are enough to sustain me in my life as a Friend.
To engage in activities where I feel well used and that help me feel good about my relationship with God and about myself as the result of faithful service.
EDUCATION IN FAITH BUILDING:
Dutiful participation in the Jewish faith.
- Hebrew classes at synagogue; Bat-Mitzvahed in 1975.
- Voluntarily attended High Holy Day services during college.
- Visited ill grandparents, even the miserable ones.
- Called my mother each week while I was in college and after I had moved out of the house.
- Looked for the afikomen during large Passover seders, despite the likelihood I wouldn't find it.
- Blamed God after significant friendships fell apart.
- Bargained with God, despite pain and anguish. Remained a believer.
- Made peace with God.
- Committee service.
- Some travel among Quakers in Canada and the U.S. to learn how other Quakers "do" Quakerism. Observed how some Quaker meetings keep Divine Principle at its center, while others allow for fair amount of secularism.
- Pastoral care and spiritual challenges brought to me through care-and-accountability committee.
- Extended myself to support a friend who was headed for homelessness; helped him maintain sense of dignity as well as practical help until his situation stabilized.
- My "John Woolman moment": As a pre-schooler, courageously told my mother I had used magic marker to draw on kitchen floor. Felt awful for an eternity and now always place additional paper under tip of marker when using a Sharpie.
- Convincement: As a college student, after questioning a series of coincidences that had occurred, involving a depressing morning and an unexpected visit by a friend, and came to believe that God had led me to that point for a reason.
- Obedience: Without a job lined up and no practical rationale, moved halfway across the country immediately after college, because God told me to.
- Deepening the well: Speak with those new to Quakerism about basic traditions and practices. Remind current Friends of value of practices that appear to be falling away. Offer to lead Adult Education sessions. Communicate with Quakers who live elsewhere and practice Quakerism differently from me.
- Pray and listen. Listen and pray.
The teenage young woman whom I met out of the blue eight years ago when God told me at the last possible moment, "Get thee up and drive to thy yearly meeting session!"
The woman roommate I had immediately after college.
The Friends with whom I worship and whose buttons I push because I talk so much about God at the center, and Love as the guiding Principle.