Monday, March 16, 2009

What God Wants

Lately, I have been feeling like I have two lives, my work life and my Quaker life, and it is getting harder for me to tell which is my real life. I have also noticed how easy it is to let Quaker stuff take over my life, even when I don't feel led, and Quaker stuff can be just as distracting from God as anything else.

Last night, I read a passage in Amos that seemed harsh but true. God said,
I can't stand your religious meetings.
I'm fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
your pretentious slogans and goals.
I'm sick of your fund-raising schemes,
your public relations and image making.
I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want?
I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it.
That's what I want. That's all I want.
(Amos 5:21-24)

Now this does not mean that I am going to stop going to meeting or abandon the women's conference. I think it is important for people of God to meet and build community. But God is the point. Even if I have the best intentions, none of the Quaker stuff I do will be any good if I lose sight of God.


  1. I think that would be a great passage to form the theme of the conference.

    What version are you quoting there?

  2. You think? We do want people to come to this thing . . .

    It's The Message translation, the one I'm currently reading. I looked at others, but I liked this language best.


  3. Nice post, Ashley. Always a good reminder for me, too, to take stock and consider if I do things among Friends because I feel needed or because I feel called.

    Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

  4. This is very much what God has been saying to me as well.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hey Ashley, I really like this quote too and I agree with Peggy: it could be a great starting point for a rich conference. Lots of people would come just because it is ironic and self-referential, but there would be plenty of place both to talk about what brings people close to God and what do we mean by rivers of justice and how the heck are we going to get to rivers of justice if we don't meet and do stuff together.

    Historically the women's conference has had one Biblical passage and one passage from a Quaker writer. This is not saying that is what has to be but maybe the next step would be to keep testing this quote and to seek leading about what to pair with it.


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