Monday, April 14, 2014
Realigning Reality: What Worship Is
Our worship of God draws us back into alignment--or as Madeleine L'Engle says--into right proportion. When I turn my eyes away from myself and to God, I am grounded in Reality. When I take note of my feet on the sidewalk and practice connecting the soles of my feet with the stability of the ground with mindfulness, I am aware of my presence in the world and of the energy of my body connecting with the stability (but not constancy) of the earth. When I practice connecting my heart, mind, eyes to God, my awareness grows to the infinite mystery of the Uncreated God. My spiritual footing is rooted in the steadfast love of God and what is Real--not what is fleeting. Contrary to the common notion, the mystic response to God in prayer, turning our heart toward God--realigning our internal compass with the Eternal--is the most Real, Necessary and Effective thing that we can do. Instead of being impractical or head-in-the-clouds, worship reminds us of what is Real, True, and Enduring. All else will fade and past. All that will remain is the eternity of relationships with God and with each other. The Christian mystic aligns his or her life and breath to this truth. Reality grows and swells and I come back into proportion with where my center is.
Worship of God is essentially conversation with God. It is popular in churches to consider worship the singing portion of the service which is not untrue. Whenever I turn my heart to God through singing, nature, a deep conversation with friends, an awe filled moment with a child, a passage in a book that sheds light on the spiritual journey, a well-preached sermon, a scripture verse--all of these moments draw me into conversation with God. It is in this space when I am open to God and receiving from God. Worship is an internal posture that reflects the posture of Mary of Bethany. Every time that Mary of Bethany is in scripture she is at the feet of Jesus. Mary's relationship with Jesus was one of worship. In the posture of worship Mary learned from the Rabbi, she also brought unanswered questions and grief, she poured out perfume and love. Mary's relationship with Jesus was through worship. Worship is not a set of feelings or even a set of actions. Worship is the heart open to God.
Here is the practice for the day:
As you walk today on pavement, grass, hardwood floors, steps of stone, tile floors, or shag carpet: consider how your feet connect with the ground. Take note of the your heels and toes as they lift and touch and press forward. Stop for a moment and press your feet into the ground. Give attention to the reality of the ground beneath and how it stabilizes you. Then as you walk, consciously open up your spirit to the Spirit of God. Don't worry about words, images or ideas. Simply open yourself up to God. You can say, "Come, Holy Spirit" if you need a word of invitation. Consciously realign yourself with the Eternal Stability. Allow the Presence of God to adjust your internal compass and reset you. Take note of the Presence of God around you, in you. Breath God in and breathe out anxiety. As you walk, worship. Be present to God. Receive the love of God. Realign your spirit to what is Real.