I was raised Quaker. Quakers sit in silent worship, communing directly with God. We believe that if you listen God will speak, and help guide you in life. I love the philosopy, open-mindedness, and quiet of the Quakers. Moreso, I love the lack of priests – it’s just you and God. I attended Quaker Meeting until I was 18, but have only recently started re-attending with Franny (raised Catholic) and Isaiah.
I have never been “lead” by the Lord. Not quite true, but hear me out.
Reading Quaker literature, you read of the church founders having incredible spiritual moments where God spoke loudly to them. I’ve never quite believed this; certainly I have never had such an experience myself. I’ve lived my entire life bringing hard decisions to the Lord in quiet prayer, waiting for his advice and direction. And I’ve never heard any. So I’ve made the decisions that seemed right at the time, and life has been good to me. (Who knows, maybe my “feeling right” about a decision is how God speaks to me, if so it’s unprovable ).
I have been “warned” by the Lord. My extended family is Catholic, and I joined the Catholic church as an adult. The priest who confirmed me used to state that sins cannot be enumerated, they are personal, between an individual and the Lord. Sin, he said, was anything that caused a rift in your relationship with the Lord. I agree – it is my experience that when I have “sinned” (cigarettes, drugs, meanness) I have felt it injured my relationship with God. And there was always a voice, sometimes quiet, sometimes very loud, telling me where I was going wrong. That I should not be going down a given path. That if I continued, I would be unhappy and disconnected from God.
God, or conscience? So that’s it – God has never spoken to me. A little voice has told me what I shouldn’t be doing. God? Or my conscience? I frankly don’t know or care. I believe in the Lord, even if he never speaks to me. Even if there is only this one life, and then nothing but dirt and worms. My faith doesn’t require a rebirth, it doesn’t require miracles. It just is. I am just thankful for this life, for the path I have been able to follow, for all the random events of life leaving me alive, married, with a beautiful son, wonderful family, and caring friends.