A Vow of the Quiet Way

In 1992, when I was at ordination school to be a minister of religion, I formulated into words the way I want to walk through this world. I had been doing much hard thinking about what was important to me, and finally got it together into a concise enough expression to be a vow.

It's a vow that has been observed more in the breaking than in the keeping, but even eighteen years on it still makes it to the file in my head marked "Heart's Desire".

Sometimes I get there, sometimes I don't: but this is what I want for my life, the path I want to walk.

Seer Ember’s vow.

I vow myself to building and extending the kingdom
of peace,
of ahimsa,
of shalom.

I will no more use things which have exploited
the beasts of earth or air or sea,
whether for food or clothing,
or utensils, or cleaning or fragrance;
though I will not refuse such things
when refusal would violate
the sacramental offering
of hospitality and kindness.

I will walk quietly
in reverence of God
and gentleness and respect towards earthlings.
I will learn to be still,
have patience, and listen,
to fast , to wait, to think.

I will refrain from
contempt, despising and betrayal of earthlings,
and bear faithful witness
to the work of the Spirit of God.

I will celebrate the being of the Earth
in all her forms of life,
and the glory of God in creation.

I will live simply and thriftily,
walking the way of freedom,
not obstructing the flow of the universe,
looking for the springs of grace
and the still green peace
at the heart of all turbulence.

I will learn the magic of gaps and spaces,
and do my best to be graceful,
looking up to God.

I will celebrate and respect my own being,
its dignity,
and holiness.

To this I vow and pledge myself.

Please give me the grace - your grace - to be faithful to my promise.
In the name of God – Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.

Seer Ember, July 1992