Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 17th September 2023
Dear Friends, September always seems to me to be a month of resetting, picking up the pace again once the children are back at school, shifting some work while I’m … Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 17th September 2023
September always seems to me to be a month of resetting, picking up the pace again once the children are back at school, shifting some work while I’m still energized by the warmth and light of summer. My diary is very full – I am quickly pulled back into busyness.And with the busyness, if I’m not careful, comes the focus on how I’ve done. Have I done enough? Did I say the right thing? How successful was it? Would it be better/more effective/make others happier if I did it differently? Stress levels start to increase and I lose the ability to see spaciousness, the ability to connect to myself and all that is, which I call God. A very wise and much-loved Quaker friend has said to me at these times, ‘Ruth, let go and let God’. That idea helps, and at the same time letting go isn’t easy. In trying to do so I am led to one of my favourite passages in QF&P, 26.70:
“Give over thine own willing, give over thy own running, give over thine own desiring to know or be anything and sink down to the seed which God sows in the heart, and let that grow in thee and be in thee and breathe in thee and act in thee; and thou shalt find by sweet experience that the Lord knows that and loves and owns that, and will lead it to the inheritance of Life, which is its portion.” Isaac Penington, 1661
I come back to this passage again and again. For me the power of the idea of letting go of what I think I want is extraordinary, to the extent that when I first started exploring my response to the passage it seemed to be something that might apply to other, more worthy people. And then I explored it some more. Allowing the seed within to grow and breathe and be and act, so that I am released from striving to be something, to know things. Allowing myself to be led by the growing, breathing inner seed, so that I can give up wanting to do ‘better’ and to know more. Allowing myself to be the person I was meant to be, connected to and led by that seed within. There’s something within that’s greater than ‘me’ which I can rely on as a guide. I experience that as incredibly liberating. As I sense that nudge towards a way forward, I feel my shoulders drop and my breath slow and deepen. I can let go of trying to shape how things will go, and trust the seed within.
On behalf of the Pastoral Care & Eldership Team (David Hitchin, Chris Lawson, Tim Pitt-Payne, Convenor, Caroline Pybus, Theresa Samms and Nancy Wall)