I love trees. My family are always paying me out because I always spot a beautiful tree no matter where we are. I love the varied colours in the bark, the formation of the branches. I seem to see God through trees as I experience their beauty, their strength and the majesty.
We have just moved house. Just down the road from our new abode is the most magnificent tree. Thankfully the housing developers built around it and it has been given it's own patch of land. The moment I noticed it, I was in awe. It reaches way above the roof tops and has a sturdy trunk with considerable limbs branching off.
Each day, my morning walk takes me past the tree. I admire it from the other side of the road as it allows me to take it all in at once; as it's great form consumes my whole vision and it's firm stature dominates my thoughts.
This morning however, I found myself on the tree's side of the path. While talking to someone I had crossed the road early and suddenly found myself right on the edge of the tree's land. At first I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't take the whole tree in all in one glance, but that feeling was short-lived as I was immediately struck by the golden light reflected on the bark. I was mesmerised by the wrinkles under one of the lower branches. I marveled at the multi-coloured layers of the bark. In coming closer, I was able to identify specific characteristics about this tree that were truly wonderful.
It reminded me of our worship. I truly believe that God is always present. He is always there for us and we can experience Him wherever we go. It's like looking at the tree from across the road. You can take it all in and know of it's presence.
But focused worship is when you put specific time aside to get closer to God. It's like walking across the road and standing at the foot of the tree and experiencing it's greatness close up. You can see the complexity of it's being and notice the diversity from the bark to the limbs to the leaves. Worship is taking a closer look at God. Putting the time aside to walk across the road and marvel in His greatness. It may be a time of communal worship like going to Church or attending a small group. It may be a time of personal worship like reading the Bible or devoting time to prayer. It may even be a time of spontaneous worship like noticing a gorgeous sunset or experiencing the love of a friend or pet. It's in those moments that we draw closer to God and we leave knowing we have experienced something special and sacred.
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.