Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Would you be willing to coordinate that?

In my Quaker Meeting, I've heard this question four or five times in the last month, directed at me. Today, another F/friend and I were discussing a fellow Quaker who has a life-threatening illness. He asked if I'd be willing to help as far as giving rides, etc. I said yes, of course. Then he asked me if I would like to take on coordinating care for this man. This man is someone I care about a great deal. He is a member of my Quaker Community (which is sort of an artificial construct anyway, since the whole world is really my community, if I open to that). But I told my F/friend no, I could not take this on. Then added that "everyone's trying to make me into a coordinator". We both laughed. But as I've been reflecting during the day, I know I want to support the ill man. I know what I can do at this point. I know that may change. I know I will coordinate other things in the Quaker Meeting when led by God to do so. But I know I already have commitments within my Quaker Spiritual community and in the rest of my life. I can only do so much. Still, it keeps coming. Unlike my F/friend today, some poeple in Meeting don't ask me, they just assume that I'm coordinating. That is hard for me. I could very easily be consumed by Meeting activities and needs, and not have any time left to hear God's voice. I wonder if that is selfish? If I ought to take on what comes my way because that is what God wants me to do, that is God's work. But I believe that if I take on everything, I get over-loaded and burned out quickly. I will be a better support to my ill friend if I say clearly what I can do. To do God's work, God needs me to say "NO" once in a while.

5 comments:

Gartenfische said...

"I wonder if that is selfish?" I wonder the same thing about the limits I place, too, but the stronger pull seems to be the thing God wants me to do. (I think. I could be wrong. What do you think about that idea?)

Sounds like your stronger pull is to not coordinate, to protect your apart-time. I believe God can use us better if we are whole, so if your intuition tells you that you need to say no to these activities, then it seems you are doing the right thing.

Just my thoughts. . . .

Crayons said...

Hi Poodle,

I'm making a cameo appearance in BlogLand. I wanted to stop in and see if you ever recovered from canning 2,000 tomatoes with Luminiferous.

You are so articulate when you write of things spiritual! This is an excellent post. I find that my friends who are committed to a cause are so stressed and overtaxed and crabby -- perhaps because we on the shore are not helping to row any of the myriad boats.

What if everyone took a boat to row? Change happens slowly. I am inspired by your thoughts.

Whatever you decide is perfectly right. You are the only one on the planet who can gauge your energy.

poodledoc said...

Garten: Yes, for me the stronger pull is always God's, but I don't always listen very well, or sometimes what I think is God's word, actually............isn't. But that's part of listening. Takes practice. I feel there are many ways to practice listening for God. I'm trying to be open to more and more ways. Quakerism and Buddhism are the two main -isms that are working for me at the present moment in my life. I'm trying to always be open to what God shows me to avoid getting too caught up in my -isms.

And, I do sometimes like to coordinate, when I feel led by God to do so.

Crayons: Always great to have a visit from you! I have enough canned tomatoes to last until next August. Luminiferous even taught me how to roast tomotoes along with garlic, basil, onions, peppers etc. and you get instant pasta sauce. Even better, this sauce passed the Poodledoc, Jr taste test approval.

Thanks for the imagery of the boats. Yes, what if everyone took a boat and rowed? Wow.

Suzy said...

What if everyone rocked the boat once in a while?

poodledoc said...

I think that would be a very good thing. But that requires faith that your boat won't capsize or if it did, that you would get help or be able to swim to shore or at least tread water until someone (either God or a friend) threw you a lifeline. Or encourage you to get back in your boat...