I love the quote Adam shared last Sunday about worship from late author David Foster Wallace: “There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.” It’s common for us to think that ‘worship’ is what we do only on Sunday when we sing. But singing is only one of the many ways that we worship (though it’s one of my favourite ways, for sure!). We also corporately worship God through giving, praying, reading God’s word, and so on.
An accurate definition of worship is ‘extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem’. The car enthusiast who spends all their money on car parts and time watching car races; worships cars. The businessman who spends weekends working and has no spare time for family or rest; worships work. The runner who owns more active wear than other clothes, has multiple pairs of running shoes, and spends any spare time running; worships running. As Wallace points out, we all worship! Incredibly, Wallace, who is not a Christian, concludes that worshiping things of this world (work, intellect, image, and so on) will “eat you alive”.
We’re being reminded of this truth in our current series as we study the book of Ecclesiastes. The truth that only worshiping God will give us meaning, satisfaction, and purpose. In fact, the book tells us quite bluntly that the things in this life are meaningless, a breath! God has gifted us with many blessings, like family, good food, work, and so on. He wants us to be thankful for, and to enjoy, these blessings. But they won’t ultimately satisfy, they are but breath in this life.
To be reminded that worship is what we give respect, admiration, and devotion to is a sobering prompt for us to check what we worship in our day-to-day life. Ask yourself these questions: What do I give my time to? What do I spend my money on? What do I give my attention and affection to most easily and naturally? What do I fear losing the most?
My prayer is that we will continually thank God for the blessings He gives us and that we will enjoy them. But that we will also remember none of these gifts, which are a breath in this life, will give us ultimate meaning or satisfaction or purpose, but only the giver of the gifts, God alone.
‘Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendour is above the earth and heavens.’ (Psalm 148:13)