Friends speak of "concerns" as the spiritual promptings that come to us, revealing our own particular God-given responsibilities in a world that so truly needs our love and our service. When we yearn to act, help, or respond, how do we know whether that yearning comes from our own feeling of urgency or our own sense of obligation, or whether it is something more, something that the Holy Spirit is asking of us? Jack Kirk discusses how concerns arise and are opened to us, how we may test them, and how we may find in them a center of spiritual gravity for our lives. How do we discover our callings as individuals, and what is our calling as a community of Friends? Discussion questions included.--Publisher's description.
When asking yourself if your concern comes from the Spirit, ask, "Does your concern bring with it a deep sense of inward peace--not peace with the injustices of the world, but a sense of assurance that you are in harmony with the guiding forces of the universe?" (14).
Among the many of "good causes" how do we discern which we should personally take on? Kirk quote Thomas Kelly: "While recognizing 'the multitude of good things that need doing, ...toward them all we fell kindly, but we are dismissed from active service in most of them. And we have an easy mind in the presence of desperately real needs which are not our direct responsibility. We cannot die on every cross, nor are we expected to" (17-18).
Kirk goes on to write: "The called person can affirm with the apostle Paul, 'this one thing I do' (Phil 3:13)" (22).
While this pamphlet is quite Christocentric in its language, it is yet very ecumenical across all Quaker lines. Kirk ends the pamphlet with a plea that we query ourselves on what we are attempting to accomplish with our activism,. Are we open to God's call, or so deeply wedded to the notion that we are one true Quaker to the detriment of the Religious Society of Friends, and more importantly, to heeding God's call.