I became quite interested in Quakers (the Religious Society of Friends) and what they believe because of Steve’s friend Greg Morgan. Then, as I am inclined to do, I did some research and found the book A Quaker Book of Wisdom – Life Lessons In Simplicity, Service, And Common Sense.
I give the book a five out of five.
Before I tell you what I think about the book, I encourage you to check out Greg’s website – The Elder Chaplain. He writes beautiful stories about balancing hope and acceptance as we encounter loss and mortality.
I am not a religious person. However, I found the tenets of this small book, which highlight simplicity, service, and common sense, concrete lessons that anyone can apply in everyday life. In addition, the author provides us with the Quakers’ history and the inner workings of their silent worship, which I find fascinating and compelling.
A Quaker meeting (silent worship) is simple; they feel Spirit may reveal itself to anyone. There’s no preacher or priest, no dispensing of grace, no telling us we are going to hell. Instead, everyone arrives at the meetinghouse as equals, and seating is usually arranged so everyone faces each other in a square or a circle. There is no agenda because anyone could be the instrument through which God (or Spirit, if you prefer) can have a message. Everyone sits in silence, usually for an hour, and waits to see if a message comes.
In the epilogue, Robert Lawrence Smith describes 10 Quaker life lessons. They are:
- Seize the present.
- Love yourself.
- Stop talking and listen to what you really know.
- Play soccer! (or whatever team sport you love)
- Accept that our lives are only partly in our own hands.
- Believe in the perfectibility of yourself and society.
- Make your love visible in the world through your work.
- Seek justice in the world, not your own life.
- Look for the light of God in every person.
- Let your life speak.
It is a great read that provides guidance for anyone seeking a more meaningful and fulfilling life.