Obedience. That's a word/concept that's never sat well with me. I'm a rebel; have been pretty much since birth. Not a sex and drugs and rock-n-roll kind of rebel (ok-maybe just not the drugs part) but I definitely march to the beat of my own internal drummer. The idea of being obedient to something greater than myself, up until very recently, has always given me the willies. My parents were the "obey authority" types and I was always trying to find ways to overthrow the establishment.
But now I find myself wanting to learn to be obedient. I want to be faithful to God; to "mind the Light" given to me. I can't say how this transformation has come about but here I am. I feel called to submit to God's will by serving God through my Quaker community. I don't know where this path will take me but I believe that where ever I go, I will be able to serve God. To me, the meaning of life is whatever context we create for it. I don't think God controls our destiny-I believe in "free will"- but I know that God will put me in the places I need to be in order to learn the lessons I need to learn. Now, I also believe that God will put me where God needs me to be. I guess I've grown in my faith to the point of believing that I'm capable of contributing to the spiritual growth of others. I trust that God will use me for God's work, showing me what I need in the process.
I guess, for years, I was an infant who had to be carried and taken care of. Then I was a child, free to play and explore. Then I became a cynical adolescent, rejecting everything (my adolescence was rather extended). Now I feel like I'm becoming an adult, ready to take on responsibility with maturity and a bit of wisdom. "When I was a child I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became an adult I put away childish things." I'm ready to put away childish things (even habits I've carried which are no longer useful) to learn to submit my will to God's.
A song sung in my Baptist Sunday school:
"Trust and obey,
For there's no other way,
To be happy in Jesus,
Than to trust and obey."