Monday, May 31, 2010

Everything Added Means Something Else Is Lost

I'm on a support committee for a f/Friend (which is Quakerspeak for a friend who is also a Friend) who is participating in a 2 year long spiritual program called School of the Spirit. She forwarded notes that someone (don't know who) made about a talk with Quaker educator Max Carter after a visit with an Amish community to learn about their ways of understanding. The notes are fascinating but a particular paragraph almost took my breath away:

Making decisions: (1) Scripture; (2) How our forefathers implemented that scripture. Everything added to life means something else is lost, and usually you lose more than you gain. What would this new thing bring with it? You have to manage each thing or it manages you...Simplifying our
lives allows us to better enjoy what we have...I'm reflecting on bringing complexity into my life: What do I have to manage; what does this item take away?

Wow. I am completely blown away by this idea. How would my life be different if I prayerfully considered each thing before I brought or allowed it into my life? The idea that everything you add takes something away and discerning the more important value before making any change is so obvious and so foreign. How much more simple and centered on my true values, on God's will for me would I be if I asked this simple question. I'm nowhere near there but this idea/exercise speaks deeply and powerfully to me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

God in 100 Words (and a few more)

Man, woman, elder, infant, timeless.
All made in Your image.
Christ Jesus, Buddha, Ganesha, Muhammad.
Vishnu, The One, Energy, Allah, Love.

Redeemer, judge, elementary school principal,
Mother, Father, nurturing, supportive foundation.
Creator, destroyer, rebuilder, abundant renewer.
Limitless, everything, life, hope, order.

Light, center, truth, pure, goodness.
Alpha, omega, the root, eternal reality.
Sophia, Logos, Gnosis, Compassion, Agape.
You will be whatever we need,
To approach knowing you.

Holy Spirit, Divine Grace, welcome.
Your gift is free will.
The gift is personality, ego, self.
Right, wrong, listening, learning, yielding.

Mistakes, lessons, experiences, no mistakes.
Transcendence, enlightenment, salvation, beyond awareness.
Not my will but Thine.
Self in service to You.
Giving over (forgetting and returning). All that I am is Yours.