Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength…and love your neighbor as yourself.
I am writing this from a teepee in the middle of the woods in Georgia. We are on the Sixth Grade Mystery Trip. Our adventures started with a trip to the Hindu Temple in Lilburn, Georgia. It is a beautiful temple, the largest outside of India. This was the first trip where the guide talked about tenants of Hinduism. To say that the temple is breathtakingly beautiful is an understatement. There are thousands of hand carved images from lotus flowers to multi armed goddesses adorning the walls, pillars, arches and ceilings. It is designed to draw your eyes from the earth to the heavens. So the higher you look, the more beautiful and intricate are the carvings.
While we were there the temple was open for worship. The worshipers would stand in front of a statue of one of their deities and lay completely flat. Then they would stand up, put their hands in a prayer fashion then bow down again. They do this six times. There was even a child with his dad doing this.
So why do we go to a pagan temple? It’s because of the discussions that come out of the experience. Here are a few:
1. Do you think any of their worshipers would ever play on their phone or talk to the person next to them? They said “No!”
2. Do you think that they complain about coming here to worship? They said, “No!”
3. Do you think that they are unkind, mean, cliquey or gossipy to each other? Again they said, “No!”
4. Do you think that they welcome all people of all colors and from all backgrounds to join them in worship? They said “Yes!”
Then we discussed how we as Christians act while we are worshiping the One True God. How we don’t pay attention, how we treat each other, how we save seats for people and talk bad about each other.
We talked about how our worship and respect of the Only One True God should far exceed that of those who worship idols.
Around our campfire last night, we talked about how our God, the only One True God, wants to have a relationship with us. He wants to have a friendship with us. He wants us to love, serve and know Him. We talked about prayer and having a quiet time.
The guide kept talking about how to get to their god. It was through living a good life, treating people kindly, through prayer and meditation. We talked about that too. We came to the conclusion that we are going to have to change our ways because those who are worshiping idols, such as a boy with an elephant’s head or a man who is blue from drinking the oceans, take their worship far more seriously than we do.
So I ask you the same thing, how seriously do we take our relationship with the One True God? Do we spend any amount of time in prayer? Do we have a consistent time with God each day? Do we allow sports and other leisure activities to keep us from worshiping together in the House of God? Here is the big question, do we treat God as our Creator, Savior and Lord or do we just go through the motions as one who is worshiping wood, stone and metal?