A Leading From Last Sunday's Worship

Whew! This feels like it’s going to be an important part of my year ahead, at least.

About Richard O Fuller

Quaker, living in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.
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2 Responses to A Leading From Last Sunday's Worship

  1. Liz Opp says:

    Richard-

    Since I was out of town last week, I missed the called threshing session. I very much appreciate your summary of how that session unfolded and of your experience as it lent itself to deepen worship.

    Two things:

    1. As I understand it and experience it, one test of a leading is that as we begin to be faithful to it, the sense of rightness grows. This is what I pick up in your description of your process, of offering to put your name forward to serve on this upcoming committee and of simply discerning what is in front of you, the very next significant step.

    2. Be careful: I fear the Adversary may be creeping in, when I see in your closing sentence this statement:

    Another next step was “offering to stand in Meeting for Business and say I was willing to be a part of such a committee, that I had an idea of one of the things the committee would do, [would be to interview Friends in the meeting…].”

    When we begin to latch onto an idea that we ourselves have had and make it out to be “the right thing, the next thing,” we can become attached to our individual certainty rather than allow ourselves–and the group–to be guided by the Living Spirit.

    That said, I trust you and have experiences with you to know that you personally work hard to release “your ideas” and to listen deeply both to the Spirit and to what others have to offer.

    I hope my comment makes some sense, but certainly seek me out if it doesn’t.

    Blessings,
    Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

  2. Ah!
    Liz’s comment lifts my heart, especially the second part:
    “2. Be careful: I fear the Adversary may be creeping in! When we begin to latch onto an idea that we ourselves have had and make it out to be “the right thing, the next thing,” we can become attached to our individual certainty rather than allow ourselves and the group to be guided by the Living Spirit.”

    This is exactly the kind of conversation I was hoping for when I laid out my early-sense-of-leading before your eyes. I DO hope we can talk about these things, and I think a “case at hand” may be a very helpful, allowing us to bring our different languages to the same situation, and to work off of the particulars of a situation as a way of learning about each other’s approaches.
    For instance, I would never have used the word “Adversary,” and I am thrilled to have it here, and the world-view out of which it comes. I do know I need to be careful, that there are mistakes to be made, if I am not. “Adversary” suggests that these are not just passive mistakes, that I might make through inattention. “Adversary” suggests a negative intelligence, a motivation to thwart.
    I am glad to have this talk here. I have seen many “mistakes,” made by myself and others which seemed far from “innocent.” Many mistakes that seemed motivated and exquisitely clever. I know the psychological language of “unconscious motivation,” AND I am excited to hear these issues addressed out of the tradition of Friends.

    And, apart from language and concepts, I am grateful for the “heads up” that Liz offers to me personally. She has not said, “error, error!” She has said, “warning, tricky terrain ahead, mind the light.”
    Thank you.

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