Sorry, I really couldn’t resist, especially after the Super Bowl last night. Actually, on my business card, it says that I am a Monday-morning theologian.
Anyway, I’ve had a hard time describing my experience with the Quakers yesterday. I’ve already talked about how their services go, with everyone sitting in silence and trying to connect with their innermost selves in hopes of also making room for the presence of God. On occasion, when inspired, Quakers speak, but only if they feel that God is prompting them to speak. (Any Quakers in the audience? Feel free to correct me if this is incorrect.)
I find it hard to believe that I was able to sit in silence for an hour with a minimum of fidgeting. That isn’t much of a spiritual goal, I realize, but I’m all about that soft bigotry of low expectations when you’re talking about a hard chair and no opportunity to make noise. Those who know me will know that such a situation is not natural to me.
I have always believed, though, that during those moments of enforced stillness, you do a different type of thinking and feeling. Thoughts and ideas flow differently when no physical activity – even walking – interrupts that flow. I wouldn’t say I was concentrating better or feeling more spiritual than usual, but I would say that after making something like this a habit, I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened.
I frequently closed my eyes, to see if that made it different. While I didn’t feel that I was more spiritual or more receptive to a presence, the church did look different each time I opened my eyes. It was strange, and I liked it. Noone spoke in that entire hour, and I was actually quite surprised when time was up. I would have expected that my fidget-meter would have been pegged before the hour was up.
More soon; this is worth thinking about a bit more.