Query 8: Personal responsibility (8th month 2012)

1.  How do we center our lives in the awareness of God the Spirit, so that all things may take their rightful places?

We do so by meeting weekly for worship, and by endeavoring to be open and listening. A Friend finds that over the last few years he finds himself wondering “Is this what God wants me to be doing?” He  calls this questioning his assumptions. We’re a small group, and Friends feel that we are a cohesive group, a cohesion guided by God. As we answer this query, we ask ourselves, “How do we challenge one another on a weekly basis to listen to God and to act together?”

 

2. How do we structure our individual lives in order to keep them uncluttered with things and activities?

A Friend shared that she had been deeply involved in clutter as she helps her family close out her father’s house, and she appreciates the fact that there is a rightful place for the things and activities in our life. The phrase “a rightful place” from is calming. It reminds us of how rightful place leads to peace. Another Friends speaks of the struggle he has with clutter, and his resolve to reduce and the ways in which that reducing can be costly, can be something that itself is not simple. A Friend shared of God’s gift of allowing him to be aware of how much cable TV made for clutter and lack of mindfulness and unwise spending of money. A Friend shared that he can become too concerned about simplifying, about spending too much energy and focus on that. We are glad that the question is “how do we” rather than “do we?” It reminds us that we may always question “Is this bringing me closer to God?” It is hard to be honest, and perhaps even harder for us to slow down and change.

 

3. How does meeting help us to examine our personal lives for simplicity?

Meetings remind us of the Quaker value of simplicity. The witness of Friends, the lives we lead, and having the chance to be part of others’ lives is an encouragement.  Also, being able to respond to these queries.

 

4.  Do we choose recreational activities with foster mental, physical, and spiritual health?

As a meeting, we notice a lack of outside social activity as a group. This one of the challenges of our group. We are conscientious about the food we eat when we gather. Many Friends shared mental, physical, and spiritual recreational activities that are healthy.

 

5. How are our lives affected by alcohol, tobacco, and drug use?  What can we do to deal with problems resulting from their use?

This seems not to be a large issue with our group. We recognize that there we do at times treat our minds and bodies in ways that aren’t healthy.  We seem to accept one another’s struggles pretty well and tend not to stigmatize steps that need to be taken to correct those struggles.

 

6.  How do we make sure we act with fairness and integrity.

Friends strive to speak their minds in compassion and integrity and that has allowed others to act.

 

7. Are we sensitive to our own use of language which may be offensive or oppressive to others.

Friends report that, for the most part, we are sensitive in this way.

 

(Brad, recorder)