Why do Quakers talk like that?
I've been noticing this for a while, but now I'm really worried. At the PYM plenary organized by the Junior Yearly Meeting (teens) and Young Adult Friends (post-high-school age), I realized we've infected our youth.
I understand that it is painful for some people to speak in public. I know that sometimes our messages are not happy ones to deliver. But the deliberate, weighted down voices I hear in meeting for worship are not necessarily signs of weighty ministry.
Why don't we speak like we are having a good time? If God has sent us a message to share, why isn't this a joyous occasion? Why don't we talk about God in our "I got an A on my test!", "I biked up this whole mountain!", "I got a raise!", "He likes me!" voices?
Or if we're honestly not cheerful all the time, at least some of the time I would expect to hear our "Get back here and clean this up!", "What were you thinking?!!!!", "He hates me!" voices when talking about God.
I know that our young people, and even our elders still have these passionate and excited tones of voice. I hear them in the lunch line and at the coffee pot and during late night singalongs and games of Mao. I know I yell at my kids more often than I yell at God.
This day (the PYM intergenerational plenary) I missed an opportunity to say to my Friends, "Come talk to me, call me, email me, and let's be excited about God!"
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