In this Christmas series, I’m focusing on Advent and the correlation it has to simplicity. Because the story of Christmas relates to a faith, some of the references I use are religious, but I think they also have some important connections to simplicity and the 100 Thing Challenge.
Worship. The word brings images of stained glass, kneeling to pray, collections of people singing. Perhaps bowing toward a certain city or touching an icon after prayer.
But those forms of worship are the conscious ones, the ones we can’t do without knowing it. That’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about lifestyle. I’m talking about what’s most important to us day to day. The word “worship” at its core refers to the act of placing highest value on someone or something. It’s what we are willing to sacrifice for.
In the story of Christmas, shepherds and wise men believed that a baby was God coming to earth in human form. They sacrificed to show their devotion to him. They let everyone know they believed he was most worthy by leaving their valuable possessions behind and coming to see him.
Americans, on the other hand, worship stuff. We sacrifice our time, our energy, our devotion to the gods of Black Friday and shopping malls, so we can spend more money than we have on stuff we don’t need in order to boast about the deals we recieved. Our culture goes into debt in order to have more things than the neighbors. And we often do it without really thinking.
This advent, I’m thinking about what I spend my time doing and what I spend my money on. Am I placing highest value on material things – temporary and fleeting things? Things that break before I feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth?
Or am I placing higher value on relationships? On investing in my community? Am I living in a way that shows others that I worship a loving God who cares about them more than he cares about how beautiful a church building is?
How about you? What do you worship? Have you thought about it lately?