An encounter with a squirrel opened up an interesting discussion about God and worship.
During a friend’s retirement party, while standing under a tree and talking to another old friend, he gently mouthed, “Squirrel.” I slowly turned, about one foot from my face was who I later learned was Albert. Apparently he wanted some of the food so freely available, and I held a finger up for him to sniff. He promptly yet gently bit it, almost as if to say, “No, squirrel food. Please.” Quite used to humans, he never flinched when I reached down for my phone to snap some pics of him. He seemed to pose.
But yet another brief conversation with the wife of another old friend (get over all the “olds,” this WAS a retirement celebration) sparked this post. She mused, “Why does God need worship? Is his ego so fragile it needs stroking?”
Well, worship does address ego issues. Not God’s, but ours. We need worship as the antidote to our innate self-centeredness. A good friend (not too old) and worship leader, Darrell Dement, once said, “If we can’t find anything greater, we worship ourselves.” Most of us do that, don’t we? We may be subtle, but we’re looking out for number one. We want it our way. I learned early on that being nice allowed me to get my way more often. I mentioned that to my class this week, and one student said, “We have something in common. I do the same.” That began with Adam and Eve wanting to be like God, to call the shots, to determine right and wrong. And we’re their children.
Worship saves us from self-absorption. Only God has the innate essence worthy of worship, and only he can handle worship and not get tweaked by it. Worship pulls the teeth of the tiger of egocentrism, and we can focus on him rather than ourselves.
Ironically, since I made that initial decision in 1971, and having had to affirm it on a more than daily basis, I’ve become more of me. I can make decisions apart from personal benefit. I’ve found a freedom I never knew before. A power from God to do what I had only tried to do previously.
Kick Starting the Application
We all worship, according to Darrell. What role does the active worship of God play in your life? In what ways does it deepen your connection with him? If you don’t God, does anything in your life have more worth than you? How frequently do you intentionally acknowledge God’s ultimate worthiness? Are you satisfied with that? If not, how can you increase it?