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How Do You Worship?

I worship best when I’m climbing a mountain, or walking along a river, or sitting at the edge of a lake, for then all of God’s glory is before me and about me; it all becomes a part of me as my senses expand to accept it all. There always comes a moment of exultation when I realize that this is what it’s all about–the beauty of the world in which we live, the beauty that was created for us to enjoy, to marvel at, to live in.

God must be very sad indeed to watch us turn our backs on the beauty of the world in order to work longer hours so that we can gain more material goods. The moment of exultation that comes upon me in such places is followed almost immediately by a state of exultation, in which I feel that I’m a vital part of this world, of the universe, of God. And that’s when I worship best, for that’s when my faith is the strongest–the mountains and trees and rivers don’t worry about the passage of time, about aging, about changes, about whether or not I have the latest in digital technology or whether I have a cool car or a geeky car.

The mountains simply are, and the desert simply is–and that’s how I see God at those times of worship. God simply is, and though we can explain away the presence of the mountains through the action of tectonic plates, that doesn’t diminish by one iota their majesty or beauty or power. At those times, I love life fully, and I love God fully, for the surroundings with which he’s blessed me are truly wonderful.

In the city, I have a slightly more difficult time worshiping. Tailgaters, cynics, nay-sayers, critics–these kinds of people tend to take our focus off of the glory of the lives we have and force us to deal with unpleasantness in our lives. I don’t like that, and though I’m getting better at dealing with it, I still focus a bit too much on the negative. I need to keep my mind focused on the fact that I am an eternal being, and that this life on earth is a temporary state, and once it ends, I won’t be asked how often I was right or wrong or what I had for possessions, but how much time I spent in worship, how much time I spent helping my fellow human beings as a form of worship.

I want to answer truly that I tried to live my life in a constant state of worship, with my eyes open to the beauty just as a child’s eyes are open to the beauty and wonder of the world. And that each time I saw beauty, I gave thanks to God that that beauty was a part of my life. That’s worship.

I want to answer truly that I spent my time in corporate worship, in church or in prayer groups, helping other people in their faith, supporting them as much as I could, teaching them the little I knew, and learning from them of what they knew.

I want to answer truly that there was a point in my life at which I gave my life to God as a form of worship–after all, he created me, so why should I hold back from Him something that he himself made? Worship is beautiful if we allow it to be. If it’s stagnant, repetitive ceremony and nothing more, then it’s worth little, to God or to us.   Find those things that you find beautiful, and devote yourself to finding the wonder in them. Even more challenging, find those things you don’t find beautiful, and look deeply to find the beauty and wonder–that which can and should be worshiped–in all things.

-Tom Walsh

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