Recently my friend James and I were discussing worship, and we talked about how different people worship and feel close to God in different ways. I think that God communicates with us uniquely; it doesn't look exactly the same for everyone because we are all so different. We have various interests and talents and things that speak to our souls.
I started thinking about what makes me feel closest to God. The biggest thing for me is writing. When I write, when I take all the thoughts that are whirling around in my head and put them on paper, I feel as though I can see life more clearly. It's easier to see solutions to problems, answers to questions, and connections between things I hadn't noticed before. Reading is related to writing, too; when I read books that challenge or inspire me, I write about my thoughts that relate to what I've read. So many times it has felt as though God has led me in certain directions through writing.
Another thing is music. I've always enjoyed listening to music; some songs are so incredibly moving to me. And this isn't just religious music; all kinds of songs have this effect on me. Something about the lyrics and the music, the emotions and experiences they are singing about or that the songs evoke in me, can make me feel so in tune with God. I'm not particularly musically talented myself; I'm a decent singer and I wish I could play guitar. But listening to music is something that can really affect me. Unfortunately, I haven't found a lot of Christian music that does this for me; so much of it seems so cheesy or surface-level that it doesn't affect me deeply. I've been listening to a couple songs by Aaron Keyes lately that are fantastic, though.
Nature helps me feel close to God too. The beauty and intricacy of nature is so amazing. Sunrises and sunsets and mountains and oceans and the moon and the stars and the blue sky and the green grass and the leaves in fall... what an awesome, creative God we have.
And other people. This one may actually deserve to be right up at the top of the list with writing. Conversations with other people, the give and take of thoughts and ideas, everything from the serious stuff to the silly stuff-- God uses these in such a profound way. Many, many times I have talked to friends only to discover that the same things that have been on my mind lately have been on theirs too. We talk and we build relationships and we grow-- not only within ourselves, not only in our friendship, but in our understanding of and relationship with God. This is the beauty of community.
I think this is how God meant for us to be. As we grow in relationship with him, we see him in the things that are most beautiful and dear to us-- things like writing, music, nature, people, and so on. He speaks to us through so many things, and as we become more in tune with him, we hear him. I love that God communicates with us as unique individuals. I love that the interests and talents he's given us can also be worship. It's so amazing.
What about you? What does worship look like for you? Where do you see God most clearly?