Guided by...

A Friend today talked about wanting to worship with others who felt guided by something bigger than themselves, and that has agency. He doesn't care if that's God, or Christ, or Truth in an a-theist view. As long as there's that sense of something bigger. People who attend Quaker meetings without that are there for the culture of Quakers, not the faith tradition -- the religious society, as we're called.

What stood out for me was the word "guided."

I haven't been feeling very guided lately, at least not on a personal level. I moved to Philadelphia from San Francisco because my wife Robin M. is very much led to do the work she is currently employed to do, with the Friends World Committee for Consultation Section of the Americas.

Fortunately, we found a place to rent (though that's turning into a whole nother story lately), a school for our children, and a job for me that's just a few blocks away from Robin's work and the boys' school. I particularly don't take that last item for granted -- in the words of Quakers, "Way opened" for me, in a big way.

My life is focused on helping care for our family, doing my paid work, and doing one volunteer job that is rather substantial. Otherwise, I read Facebook, try to stay current on email, and read books that at least alternate between fluff and seriousness. But I'm not pursuing much in the way of an individual spiritual practice.

I attend meeting at Green Street the Sundays we're home, but I seem to be elsewhere many Sundays. Last weekend we went to Gwynedd Meeting in Montgomery County, and visited an aunt and uncle nearby afterwards; and two weeks ago, we went to 15th Street Meeting in New York City, where Robin and I met. Both of those opportunities came about because of Robin's work engagements. So I'm not as involved in my monthly meeting as I used to be. (Well, even if I were still in San Francisco, I wouldn't be quite as involved in my meeting as I used to be, because last spring I completed four years as clerk of the meeting; that was the right thing to do whether or not we had left.)

It's not surprising that I feel a bit unmoored (haha!) after leaving the area where I'd been living the last 16 years, and where Robin & I learned to be parents, and which had been where our children were born and had lived their lives until then.

But hey, today we went to meeting and then the Woodmere Art Museum where both our boys had pieces in the show of their school's art. Our younger son got to play outside quite a bit in the spring weather, and I did a little yard work and sat on the front porch to read a book about particle physics. And ate homemade pumpkin pie after a substantial dinner. So I certainly am blessed and have much to be grateful for. May I remain open to Guidance.


cubbie said...

for a second i thought this was posted today and was so proud of myself for catching it right away. then i realized it was a month old. pfft! i like it though. any more mohr-mooring since this post? sometimes those... unhinged is the word i'm thinking of though it's wrong... moments bring us to somewhere really good, but it's hard because we don't know where that is yet. and then for you there's the part where you are guided to be with this one who is being guided, which is a leading, too, but a different kind...

RantWoman said...

Why is reading about particle physics not personal spiritual practice? I have only read tiny bits of particle physics, but someone I know who has read a lot more of it says, in more colorful terms, that it quickly takes one to all kinds of edges of what seems obvious. Does it help to trust the possibility of being guided even if it not obvious at the time?