Nashville Friends Meeting has, for the last six months, integrated Meeting for Worship for the Conduct of Business into Meeting for Worship. We spend the first 20 minutes in silent worship then the clerk introduces the queries and we spend a few minutes in silent 'waiting' then we begin attending to business. Today, the integrated Meeting was part of the agenda. First, though, we came to consensus about folks representing NFM when sitting in peaceful demonstration and in meeting with our political representatives in regards to the war in Iraq and particularly the proposed troop surge. We created a minute for the NFM representatives to carry and guide them in these actions and interactions. Following the support for those motions, we began a discussion of the integrated Meeting. I was very surprised to find that I am emotionally, intellectually and, most importantly, spiritually strongly in favor of the integrated Meeting. I think, if I'd thought about it prior to Meeting today, I would have said that I don't like the integrated Meeting because I find Meeting for Business boring because so little of it is pertinent to my experience. When the topic was opened I had the immediate message to share that it is all God's work; that if we attend to Meeting for Business with the intention of worship then we are doing God's work.
Although I am very verbal and generally articulate and outspoken outside of Meeting, in the decade in which I have been attending Meeting, I have only been given messages to share on three occasions. I was taken by surprise to have been given the message today but in sharing it and, especially after sharing it, I felt myself really opening to Spirit. I have never had the experience of feeling Spirit flow through me quite the way I felt it today; it was like my ego was set aside and I could just be open to Way flowing. It's even carried home with me to dealing with my teenager who is in a very bad and confrontational mood today. God has given me the gift of awareness of Divine Presence today and I am honored and humbled and awed.