Brian’s Reflection: Friday, May 02, 2008
What is called worship or meditation
is often nothing but an evasion of personal
responsibility for self-awakening.
- Vernon Howard
Boy, have I seen this in spades over four decades! And I confess that I have indulged in it myself at times in my life. Worship as ….. Escape. Many of us often want “spiritual practice”, public or private, to lull us and hold us in a place where a false sense of well-being prevails. And God help any worship leader who attempts to change anything! This does not just pertain to “religion”; the same pattern often controls social structures as well.
I am reading Geraldine Brooks fine novel “People of the Book”. At one point, the illustrator of a beautiful haggadah faints while writing out the letters of a text on the page - because of the power the letters have to transform him. Ritual, in any manner, should I think be essentially of this nature. It is meant to change us, powerfully to challenge us. It’s ok to leave worship or meditation with a sense that Life is exquisite and wild and beautiful. But more, we should emerge desperate to grow, learn more, be yanked from our stuck-ness and propelled towards a fuller Being-ness.
We don’t worship or pray in order to shift responsibility onto God for who we are or are becoming as a person. Self-awakening is our responsibility. Our worship should never pander to our fear of transformation.