July: Simplicity

(This is the seventh in a series of 12 monthly queries developed by Pacific Yearly Meeting.)

Life is meant to be lived from a Center, a divine Center . . . a life of unhurried peace and power. It is simple. It is serene. It takes no time, but occupies all our time.                                                                                                       Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion, 1941

A life centered in God will be directed toward keeping communication with God open and unencumbered. Simplicity is best achieved through a right ordering of priorities, maintaining humility of spirit, avoiding self-indulgence, resisting the accumulation of unnecessary possessions, and avoiding over-busy lives.

Elise Boulding writes in My Part in the Quaker Adventure, “Simplicity, beauty, and happiness go together if they are a by-product of a concern for something more important than our selves.”

Do I center my life in an awareness of God’s presence so that all things take their rightful place?

Do I live simply and promote right sharing of the world’s bounty?

Do I keep my life uncluttered with things and activities, avoiding commitments beyond my strength and light?

How do I maintain simplicity, moderation, and honesty in my speech, my manner of living, and my daily work?

Do I recognize when I have enough? 

Is the life of the Meeting so organized that it helps us to simplify our lives? 

August: Integrity and Personal Conduct

(Note: Some queries are intended for individuals. The italicized portion of the queries above is intended for the Meeting collectively.)

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