Much of our acceptance of multitudes of obligations is due to our inability to say No. We calculated that the task had to be done, and we saw no one ready to undertake it. We calculated the need, and then calculated our time, and decided maybe we could squeeze it in somewhere. But the decision was a heady decision, not made within the sanctuary of the soul. When we say Yes or No to calls for service on the basis of heady decisions, we have to give reasons, to ourselves and to others. But when we say Yes or No to calls on the basis of inner guidance and whispered promptings of encouragement from the Center of our life, or on the basis of a lack of any inward "rising" of that Life to encourages us in the call, we have no reason to give except one―the will of God as we discern it. (99-100)When I read this, I recognized myself. Far too frequently, I agree to do things because it seems like I am the only one who can or will, but I know that is not the best use of my time or talents. I do intend to follow through with the commitments I have already made, but I feel clear that I should not take on any more.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I have been feeling a little overwhelmed with the amount of Quaker stuff in my life lately. The other day, I re-read the chapter in A Testament of Devotion on "The Simplification of Life" and this passage really spoke to me: