Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business
The queries and advices for Second Month center on our Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business. The query: Are we able to unite in good grace with the sense of the meeting when our personal desires tend in another direction? and the advice: Avoid undue persistence. As we release our attachment to our ideas, the Light may reveal solutions none of us has considered both call us to humility in our decision-making as individuals and as a community. In Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business, we are waiting for leadings of the Light. We wait with the same openness as Meeting for Worship for the Spirit to speak to our corporate body. This means that we leave behind our own preferences and devices when we enter into discernment of the Spirit’s leadings. Even if we have strong opinions about a topic, we must listen as if we did not. This approach can allow the Light to, as one of the other advices states, reveal solutions none of us has considered. This ‘letting go’ of attachment to our desires, helps us to be more open to where we are being led.
The idea that we are not always right or do not always have the correct or best answer is difficult in our world today that is filled with people pushing their own agendas. Being right is seen to be a characteristic of a good leader. Thus, if someone “backs down” from their position, they can be viewed as weak. People who refuse to surrender their own opinion, however, come across more as bullies than as persons of fortitude. The true strength lies in listening and being able to discern the voice of God in all that is shared. As Friends, we can counter the attitude of dominance by bringing an understanding of corporate wisdom into whatever decision-making situations in which we find ourselves. It not only engenders a peaceful means of reaching solutions, but helps all to feel involved in the process.
Lisa Erazmus and Jan Dahm
Tampa Monthly Meeting