Monday, March 4, 2013

Conversation - Worshipful?

You're in a conversation. Mild chit-chat, normal stuff, work, the weather. Then you hear yourself, or someone, make a declaration of something at least semi-significant: Hard work pays off in the end. It's who you know. I'm sick of these Democrats.
Sometimes there's laughter - but what makes you (or them) laugh? What are you uncomfortable with, but chuckle any way to avoid making a scene, to fit in? Is someone degraded? To laugh or not to laugh, to nod or not to do: we declare who we are, and disclose our moral compass and priorities when we talk, and laugh.

Even gossip: yes, it's bad manners, and often downright mean to gossip. But surprisingly enough, in gossip we often declare our moral position. "I can't believe he had an affair!" "She bent the truth and it got her into trouble." "I would never leave my children." "If I cheated on taxes, I'd get caught, or feel like a schmuck."

In all these, what you value pops out - or you are schooled in the beliefs of others. In worship, we recite a creed. Some Christians don't like creeds... but somehow in worship we declare who we are, or at least who we wish to be in the light of God's grace. In worship, we name our truest self, our highest aspirations, our noblest beliefs. We believe God is "almighty," and that Jesus is "our Lord," that resurrection happens, that a judgment awaits us in the future, that forgiveness is hard but essential, and that this life is really a prelude to bigger things to come.

Maybe the creed, what we've named in worship that we say we believe, can linger into the week, and live in our minds and hearts as the most intriguing, and motivating of all our thoughts, the gyroscope that keeps me pointed in the right direction, the calming whisper that maintains focus. In mid-conversation, I remember that I believe in God...

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