And he was in the desert forty days being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. Mark 1:13 NIV Study Bible
I have been trying to attend to my spiritual needs more lately. It is hard. I allow myself to get pulled in too many directions and have a hard time saying ‘no’ especially when other people need something. I had a leading last August that I needed to start volunteering with a local Friends organization…and well, it is July now and I just sent the volunteer application in. So I am moving at a different pace than maybe the Lord would like to see. I have wanted to go to meeting more often for the last year or so yet still only make it maybe once a month. I know this is the direction I need to go in; to return to my spiritual home. But reincorporating it into my life seems difficult. But I feel the pull clearly…when I let myself.
A series of events recently had me thinking, again, on why it is that so many young adult Friends seem to drift away…I have many lines of thought on this phenomenon. Currently, I am pondering how it is that few of my year in QLSP are actively involved with Friends. Some are definitely, for example one of us is a pastor now. Some are slowly being drawn into projects in the larger society. Some of us do work that has some meaningful benefit to society and that work is tied to our spiritual beliefs. But I started to contemplate how it is that individuals from other parts of my Quaker life are more actively involved in the SOF then my QLSP friends. I think back on the unspoken currents of trying to “out Quaker” each other or those “super-Quakers” among us and if some how that un-quakerly attitude has attributed to some of us departing on another path rather than one serving the larger SOF. I don’t have answers or even any idea if what I just said is grounded in a reality that others experience.
Mainly, this is my attempt to say, “I am still here.” I think it has become clear that I need to make my way out of my personal desert and come back to the fold. It may take time but I am starting that journey—again.
Lapses and forgettings are so frequent. Our surroundings grow so exciting. Our occupations are so exacting. But when you catch yourself again, lose no time in self-recriminations, but breathe a silent prayer for forgiveness and begin again, just where you are. Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion.