holes in our lives

This past Sunday, I hit the local Quaker meeting. I went to a few of them at College, and loved them. The seats are arranged in a few consecutive circles, and people share their thoughts when moved.

For those familiar with the Mormon tradition of fast and testimony meetings, Quaker meetings are similar, except people tend to be more articulate, they have more discretion in sharing thoughts so a higher proportion of them are relatively profound, and no one feels the need to break the silence to prevent awkwardness. In fact, the silence is encouraged and part of the service.

Anyway, the service was beautiful, and one woman talked about filling the holes in our lives. She said that we all have holes and that we often try to fill them with things that do not quench the thirst or feed the hunger. She said that she herself played computer games, ate food she shouldn't, and chatted about silly things to fill holes. (No, this woman was not me.)

She said that we need to seek out the living water, the things that do fill the holes, and ground ourselves in those things. I love that this philosophy can be applied to anything in life, and I think it's beautiful. For the hole of actual, physical hunger, feed yourself with good food: whole grains, vegetables, etc.. If you are tired, sleep instead of having a stimulant. For the hole of loneliness, develop meaningful relationships with depth and breadth to them. Spiritual holes, mental holes, physical holes--this theory works for all of them.

If we achieve this ideal of always filling ourselves with things that truly quench our thirsts, rather than just delaying them, we will always be growing, expanding, and improving.


Lucas Sanders said...

Parts of my mind are quite amused by your opening sentence.

To promote feline mortality (how tragic!): did you previously participate in meetings on campus, at Pendle Hill, or both?

I very much agree, though, on the particular beauty and significance of Quaker worship. I don't think I'll ever give up the storytelling framework of liturgical worship, but you're making me realize that my life could also currently use a few good meetings. Preferably relatively lengthy ones; acquiring the proper frame of mind will take me a little while.

ajb said...

I think I went to one on campus, and a few at Pendle Hill. Not a crazy number, but enough to like them. :)