Thursday, 19 July 2018

What I Fear

A peacock stands on a stone pedestal in a pleasant garden, with a pond in the background.
I have fears, when I write things like this. When I write down what I am led to write, or when I sit down to write deliberately, certain worries are always on my mind.
There are the usual worries of anyone writing things others will read, of course. Have I written this well? Is it understandable? Will people criticise harshly, perhaps even mock me?
When writing down ministry, there are extra worries. Have I faithfully rendered that which has been given to me? How sure am I of the leading?
The greatest worry is beyond that, though. I worry that people will, most likely if they already largely agree, accord too much weight to my writing. I wish to make a difference, of course, and I have enough ego that I would like to be recognised to some extent. But I do not wish to be held in special regard for insight and wisdom beyond what I consider appropriate for Quakers.
What was said by Fox holds no more authority than anyone else, nor Naylor, not Penn, nor any weighty or historic Friend. However much you like my insights, however clearly they might speak to you, however well they might stimulate your thoughts, I am no better an authority than you – nor better than the people you disagree with.
When reading my writings, or the journals of Fox, or the writings of any of our learned and gifted Friends today, never forget the greatest source of spiritual insight. Take words such as mine for inspiration and insight, but always look, first and last, to the Spirit within.
Written July 2018
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