Slightly Off the Beaten Path – One Man’s Opinion
*Note: Just to put this piece into perspective – it is written from the viewpoint of an individual raised in a Methodist Christian tradition and who has, over the years, transitioned away from this structured line of thought.
“Worship” (as defined in my handy-dandy Random House College Dictionary) A reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
Oops – gotta go to the next word…
“Sacred” (same reference) Devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; consecrated or (#2) entitled to veneration or religious respect by association with divinity or divine things; venerable.
OK then, so worship is reverent honor and homage paid to anything entitled to be reverently honored and homaged. Or something like that. Did we just go in a circle here? My brain hurts…
I know. I’m being silly. Let’s get to the meat of this.
Growing up in the Methodist church, I was led to believe that worshipping God meant that we were required to mentally assume a status of slightly above that of pond scum, bow our heads, clasp our hands, close our eyes and pray humbly with meek and timid thoughts with the knowledge that God could get pissed off and strike us with a bolt of lightning if he wanted. We were also expected to sing our praises by pseudo-melodiously contributing to the performance of a few really cool (and some really God-awful) hymns. I remember thinking at the time, that if heaven was anything like this I’d rather go to Vegas. I expected the lightning strike at any moment…
After several years, I finally weaned myself from the usual Christian monotheistic approach to religion. OK, in case you’re not familiar with the term, “monotheistic” basically means one deity and one god. And no, this doesn’t mean that I’ve switched to believing in a whole bunch of ‘em either. It simply means that I’ve transitioned more to a belief in a universal intelligence (power, wisdom and love) along with the logic and purpose that goes along with it. I feel that I can still converse with this intelligence but to help me do so, I picture it (“him/her”) in a human-type form of my own creation, plop his butt on the loveseat and start chatting.
Obviously this approach has completely obliterated any trace of the old Methodist techniques of worship. To be honest, I’d have to say that it’s working out quite well. The fear and timidity that once existed has been replaced by love – let me repeat that… love… - and respect and admiration for this whole wonderful creation that we’re a part of. I am able to express my opinions freely without fear of retribution. I can ask questions and be assured that some kind of answer will be forthcoming. I know that my life path is exactly as it was intended to be. (No, I don’t know the reasoning behind it. I just press on and am really happy to be able to do that.)
I feel now that I am truly an integral part of this
marvelous system. I know that I’m
extremely fortunate to even exist in the first place and am honored to be able
to attend what I have often referred to as the “
No, this certainly isn’t “worship” in the traditional sense. But to me it’s much better – much deeper and more fulfilling. And to top it all off, I don’t need to be concerned about the lightning any more. Love it!!!
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