Anyone who pays an electric bill knows that it's necessary for keeping a household or business connected to power. Anyone who expects flowers, plants and crops to grow knows that a certain amount of sunlight is necessary. Anyone, then, knows the danger of entropy - the loss or diminishment of energy from outside of a system that causes the system to lapse.

More and more scientist, actually physical cosmologists, are warning that the energy of the universe is dissipating as it gets farther and farther from its origin. Many years ago, H.E. Fosdick gave a similar warning in his book "On Being A Real Person". He cautioned that, though humans have a reserve of energy stored in the will, we can not will the sustainable power that comes from outside of ourselves. We need this "power greater than our own" to live, move, and even, have our being.

Ironically, however, the more we strive, through willful prayer, to appropriate the source of our spiritual power, the farther and farther we find ourselves from our origin.

It has been suggested that, in order to fully value good news of a rescue at sea, one must not be watching or hearing it from the media. News, yes - but not gospel-like salvation.

Could it be that entropy has made its way into our Quaker Meetings? Could it be that we are forgetting to bring our helpless human condition in favor of strong faith in prayer? Could it be that numbers and words in our gatherings convince us that we have plenty of power in reserve?

Unless we are the ones who need rescuing, the ones who need to get closer to God by surrendering our will, and the ones being receptive to a power greater than our own, then we might as well turn off the lights and save the energy and cost of energy bills. On the other hand, subjecting ourselves to the Light will empower us who are a real mess to become real persons. 

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Comment by Clem Gerdelmann on 1st mo. 17, 2013 at 9:41am

Can I get a witness - or is socializing the only "some kind of wonderful" for Quakers these days?

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