Today’s entry in Rev. Thurman’s meditation journal says that we have two areas of need: 1) for something to worship and 2) for family.
I thought these were odd choices. The need for family I could see as valid. We need, Thurman says, to be part of the human race (a family of people), part of a collective and not a separate unit. “I am aware,” he says, “that all the race, in some very meaningful sense, breathes through me – that I am a part of the very pulsating rhythm of existence.”
He furthers the idea of our connected explaining that we are not separate units, rather, we are deeply involved in the collective experience of human aliveness (115). Thurman was a 20th century theologian writing in 195 saying we need to communicate openly with the human family. I am a 21st century seminarian envisioning the millions of people that walk around with their cell phones, able to call, text, go on facebook, instant message and tweet. But, are these communications deep and meaningful as I believe Thurman was indicating, or are they media noise?
Thurman’s opinion that we need something to worship was interesting as I consider the things we do worship. I think he had a different concept of worship than I do. He says there is something “native to the human spirit that insists upon the offering of one’s precious gifts, one’s precious possessions. Who is the recipient of your piece of good news? To what do you bring the most precious increments of your spirit, your mind, your possessions?” He says, “you want to tell somebody who will accept your tidings as a symbol of nearness and devotion.”
Maybe I’m skeptical but I’m not so sure we each want or trust that. Who is that recipient of your good news?
I was thinking of worship as the act of prizing a thing, returning to it with your full attention, your focus, your energy. Some people prize their work, others a sport or an artistic outlet, or shopping, or maybe give full attention to a newborn child. But, I think Thurman means to worship something/someone is to share with it what’s up with you; to tell them your daily news, to offer your personal gifts and your possessions.
Some people talk to their mom or dad, or their spouse or partner, a beloved teacher or respected coach to receive their news. Thurman writes, “whatever it is that holds so central a place in your reaction to living, that is your God.”