Chapter OneTHAT THING WE DO
THE HUGE IDEA:EVERYBODY WORSHIPS SOMETHING.
You, my friend . are a worshiper!
There, I said it.
Every day, all day long, everywhere you go, you
worship. It's what you do. It's who you are.
So if by chance you have only a few seconds to
check out this book, that's what it's all about. We all
are worshipers, created to bring pleasure and glory
to the God who made us.
I don't know whether or not you consider yourself
a "worshiping" kind of person, but you cannot
help but worship-something.
It's what you were made to do.
Should you for some reason choose not to
give God what He desires, you'll still worship
something-exchanging the Creator for something
He has created.
>>Whatever's Worth Most
Think of it this way: Worship is simply about value.
The simplest definition I can give is this: Worship is
our response to what we value most.
That's why worship is that thing we all do. It's
what we're all about on any given day. Because worship
is about saying, "This person, this thing, this
experience (this whatever) is what matters most to
me . it's the thing I put first in my life."
That "thing" might be a relationship. A dream.
Friends. Status. Stuff. A name. Some kind of pleasure.
Whatever name you put on it, this thing or person
is what you've concluded in your heart is worth
most to you. And whatever is worth most to you
is-you guessed it-what you worship.
Worship tells us what we value most. As a
result, worship determines our actions, becoming
the driving force for all we do.
And we're not just talking about the religious
crowd. Christians. The churchgoer among us. Or
the youth group attender. We're talking about
everybody on planet earth . a multitude of souls
proclaiming with every breath what is worthy of
their affection, their attention, their allegiance.
Proclaiming with every step what it is they worship.
Some of us attend the church on the corner,
professing to worship the Living God above all.
Others who rarely step inside the church doors
would say worship isn't a part of their lives because
they aren't "religious." But everybody has an altar.
And every altar has a throne.
So how do you know where and what you
It's easy. You simply follow the trail of your time,
your affection, your energy, your money, and your
loyalty. At the end of that trail you'll find a throne;
and whatever, or whomever, is on that throne is
what's of highest value to you. On that throne is
what you worship.
Sure, not too many of us walk around saying, "I
worship my stuff. I worship my Xbox. I worship
this pleasure. I worship her. I worship my body. I
But the trail never lies. We may say we value
this thing or that thing more than any other, but
the volume of our actions speaks louder than our
In the end, our worship is more about what we
do than what we say.
Worship is the activity of the human soul.
So not only do all people worship, but they
worship all the time. Worship isn't just a Sunday
thing. It's an all-the-time thing.
Right now, all around you, people of all shapes
and sizes, people of every age and purpose are worshiping-continually
making decisions based on
what they value most. Worship happens everywhere .
all day long.
In fact, some of the purest forms of worship are
found outside the walls of the church and have no
reference to the God of all creation. All you have to
do is drop in on a concert at the local arena or go to
a sporting event at a nearby stadium to see amazing
worship. People are going for it, lifting their hands,
shouting like crazy, staking their claim, standing in
awe, declaring their allegiance. Interestingly, these
venues are filled with the same forms of worship
mentioned in the pages of God's Word-the same
expressions of worship that God desires and deserves.
A while back, watching an interview Oprah was
doing with Michael Jackson in the prime of his
career, I was stunned with the reality of this truth.
What I witnessed as she showed a video clip of
people responding to him in concert settings
around the world absolutely floored me. Talk about
In multiple cultures, mobs of people numbering
into the hundreds of thousands were glued as one
to his every move. On every continent they gathered
like an army, waving their hands in the air.
Some fell to their knees. Others strained with outstretched
hands, hoping for a brief touch from his.
Seared in my mind is the image of one young girl
with a look on her face of total awe.
I couldn't believe it. What I was watching was
some of the most intense worship I'd ever seen .
anywhere. Far more "full-on" than much of what I'd
experienced inside the church.
And for what? Granted, Michael Jackson is a
living legend when it comes to entertainment, but
he's not a great god. Not even close. Yet the worship
was phenomenal, demonstrating the God-given
capacity for adoration that is rooted in the soul of
And you can see it when your favorite band
plays, or your favorite team. People naturally doing
the thing it seems we were all created to do.
In the same way, we all (you and me) worship
something all the time. And you know what? We're
really good at it.
If you think about it, history has known no
shortage of worship. The timeline of mankind is littered
with trillions of little idols. Every culture,
every corner of earth, every age has had its gods.
Just circle the globe and watch for worship. Study
the great civilizations and explore their temples.
The compelling question for me is, "Why?"
Why do we crave something to worship? Why are
we so insatiably drawn from idol to idol, desperately
in need of something to champion, something to
exalt, something to adore?
How do we know for sure that some things are
more important than others, more worthy of worship?
How do we even know that value, beauty, and
I think it's because we were designed that way.
We were made for God.
The Bible says it this way: All things were madeby Him; and all things were made for Him
You've been created by God. And if that wasn't
enough, you've also been created for Him. As a
result, there's an internal homing device riveted
deep within your soul that perpetually longs for
your Maker. An internal, Godward magnet, pulling
your being toward Him.
Stamped in God's image, we know that there's
something we attach to, something we fit with,
someone we belong to, somewhere called home.
That's why we come from the womb equipped for
connectivity with God, prewired to praise. And that's
why, from the youngest age, we begin to worship.
We arrive in this world as objects of divine
affection, miraculous receptors designed to bring
Him pleasure. If only everyone could know we've
been created by and for God! If only we could all
comprehend that we're precious to Him, housing
mirrored souls designed to reflect His glory.
>>The Question That
Captivates Us All
As I'm writing, my flight home to Atlanta is
climbing high above the Chicago night. Staring
out across the horizon, I'm captivated by the thousands
of tiny lights dotting the landscape as far as I
can see. Countless twinkling stars of earth, hundreds
of thousands of beacon lights. It's like a sea
of little lights-streetlights, headlights, house
lights, neon lights . all kinds of lights.
And I'm thinking, everywhere I see lights, there
are people. People everywhere. A sea of humanity.
And every single person down there is someone
created with amazing potential and purpose. All
uniquely fashioned to reflect back to their Creator
His beauty and wonder. Each one breathing the air
of earth in one accord. Each person given life to
give Him praise.
And that's only the view in one direction, looking
out over just one city, in just one state, in one
nation, on one continent.
I'm floored. As we jet through the darkened
sky, I think of how this earth is home to billions of
worshipers, created to light the darkness with stories
of who God is . with echoes of all He has done.
But do they know it? Do you know it? Do you
know in this moment that you were made by and
While we soar over Chicago, our plane is just a
little tiny speck to anyone who might look up and
see us, a little dot of light blinking its way through
the night. Yet on board this night are even more
people. People everywhere.
Across the aisle from me, a middle-aged woman
is digging into a well-worn Bible. (No, I'm not
making this up!) She's leaning forward as she reads,
as if she knows this Book holds some secret key. I'm
thinking how the same God who's worthy of all the
earth's worship is the Author of the very pages in
her hands. She's holding His autobiography in her
hands. There before her eyes is the extension of
God's hand. And she's devouring it in large chunks,
miraculously forgoing another showing of My Big
Fat Greek Wedding. It's as if somehow within its
pages she has discovered life's very meaning.
It seems we all are eventually captivated by the
question of why. Why are we here? Is there a reason
for our lives? Is there something we're uniquely destined
It's the age-old dilemma-what's the purpose
The answer begins and ends with God. Simply
put, you and I were made by Him and made for
Him. You and I exist for one purpose alone-to
reflect back to God His matchless glory. You were
made for a unique relationship with Him. And your
life was designed to be a mirror that reflects all the
best things about Him to the world around you.
Finding our Maker and connecting with His purposes
is the one thing we are all seeking.
Okay, to be fair, things have change on board.
Forty minutes have passed, and the woman across the
aisle is now reading a David Baldacci novel, sending
occasional glances toward the movie monitor.
Uh-oh. The headphones are going on. I think
she's being sucked into the movie.
Apparently, she's seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding
a dozen times and is having no difficulty jumping
right into the flow. It hasn't been thirty seconds and
she's already laughing. (Not as loudly as the guy in
front of me, mind you, who with headphones on is
loudly giving a blow-by-blow commentary of each
scene to the stranger trapped beside him.)
I guess tonight won't see a miracle after all. The
"little movie engine that could" wins again. The
unstoppable force of "Big Fat Greek Wedding"
rambles on. But she still gets major credit for her
deep dive into the pages of God's Word. For she-just
like the rest of us-is seeking God. And, as far
as I can tell, finding Him on a plane to Georgia.
(The guy next to me is sound asleep. The lady
in front is talking in what sounds like a South
African accent. The flight attendant buzzing around
is tall and Romanian. A businessman behind me is
wide-awake and feverishly working.)
And there are people all around you, too.
Today as you stretch before practice, sit at the picnic
table during lunch, or study in the library,
there are people everywhere. Over there the little
popular clump of girls who think they rule the
world. Then there's that quiet, shy kid who always
seems to sit alone. And near him two teachers
deep in conversation who seem to have tuned out
the entire school.
All these people.
Do they know their lives have an amazing