November 26     

Today's quotation:

For true worship, only God and the human soul are necessary.  It does not depend upon times, or seasons, or occasions.  Anywhere and at any time God and person in the bush may meet.

Ralph W. Trine

Today's Meditation:

I find it fascinating that people have made so many rules about worship.  "If you're not doing it my way," we seem to be saying, "you're doing it wrong."  And add to that, of course, "If you're not worshiping my God, you're wrong."  None of us have seen God, though, and none of us have spoken directly with God (or have we?), so all of these rules and claims to know the only true God are simply guesses.  While you may have faith that your way is the "right" way, someone else with different beliefs has just as strong a faith that her or his way is correct.  The real truth is, though, that it doesn't matter.

If we keep ourselves open to life and love, if we constantly seek to see and do good and to spread kindness, if we allow ourselves to submit to life and not try to control it, we will be in a position to worship.  And worship doesn't need to be with established prayers at established times.  If that's what moves you, then of course you're free to follow prescribed methods of worship, but I worship best personally when I'm hiking in a forest, far from "civilization," or when I'm running and my mind is focused only on the running.  I worship well when I see a sunset and my mind is filled with wonder.  I worship well when I'm sitting on the couch on a dark day, listening to rain fall or watching snow fall.

We like rules, and we like being part of crowds.  We like houses of worship, where lots of other people are worshiping in the exact same way that we are, with prayers and songs and readings from holy books.  But to say that someone else isn't truly worshiping because they're not doing what we're doing is simply arrogant, and completely unfair to them.

Let's worship in our own ways, and allow others to find the ways that best suit them.  Let's not judge others simply because they're not doing what some other people told us is the right way, and we chose to believe them.  And let's search out some new and unique ways of worshiping for ourselves, ways that may open new doors or windows in our relationship to what we conceive God to be.  The possibilities and the breadth of God are endless, so let's not let our limited forms of worship limit God, too.

Questions to consider:

What do you conceive God to be?  How do you best worship that force/being?

Why do we like to worship in ways that have been taught to us?  Who taught those ways to the people who taught us?

When have you considered possibly finding new and more interesting ways of worshiping what you conceive God to be?

For further thought:

The worship of God is not a rule of safety--  it is an adventure of the spirit, a flight after the unattainable.

Alfred North Whitehead

more thoughts and ideas on worship



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