source: Silence is My Leading – QuakerQuaker.
One of the most fascinating things I find from Quaker religious practices is their unprogrammed worship. That is where they spend time simply sitting and waiting for a message from God. This activity, or should I say inactivity, is unheard of in most other forms of religious practices. From the source article I have found that there are two distinctively different feeling about what is to be accomplished by this “waiting”. Here is a quote from that article:
For the Activist silent worship is a means towards an end. That end is the uncovering of an individual’s ‘leading’. In the quiet and stillness of gathered worship the Activist Quaker can discern what they need to do, what they need to be engaged with. For the Quietist Quaker, or more broadly the Contemplative Quaker, silence is the leading. That is to say, for the Quietist silence is not a means for uncovering what one should be doing and where one should be going. Rather, for the Quietist, entering into the silence of gathered worship is an end in itself. For the Contemplative where one should be going is into the inward silence. Silent worship is the leading.
I personally try to spend at least a few minutes every day listening for God. The bible verse “Be still and know that I am God” that I believe is in one of the Psalms has much meaning in my life. I am convinced that if we don’t spend time thinking about God and his messages to us then we are apt to make many wrong decisions about our directions in life.
I am a Christian activist so I do think that silence is a means to an end. It leads me in the directions that God desires me to go. While I do try to listen just for the sake of “peace and quiet” once in a while I could never do this for exceedingly long periods of time as monks and some others do. I am, even at these later years in my life, still a kid that needs constant stimulation 🙂
But I do think that I, along with most everyone else including our national leaders, jump to decisions sometimes too quickly. We don’t spend the necessary time and resources seeking out the best answers to many of today’s vexing problems. We seem to grab on to the first thought that comes to mind, or maybe is put in our lazy minds by someone else. We should all definitely spend more time waiting for God.