My teenage students often ask me why we need religion. We don’t need it answer questions about why it rains or why the sun shines. Science gives better answers to those. We don’t need it to explain human behavior or relationships. Psychology gives better answers to those. What, then, is religion for?
I tell them this: Religion helps us answer the most important questions we face. What is the purpose of life? How can it be made meaningful? Why are we here? What does it all add up to?
None of us can ignore these questions. Our lives determine our answer.
We All Worship Something
The late novelist David Foster Wallace put it best when he said,
In the day-to- day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships.
If we choose to worship money and things, there will never be enough. If we choose to worship beauty and sexual allure, we will always feel ugly and when time and age start showing, we will die a million deaths.”
If we worship power, we will feel weak and afraid, and we will need ever more power to keep our fears at bay. If we are not careful, we can slip into this kind of worship, little by little, day by day,… or we can choose to worship, to give our life to, to sacrifice for, to live and die for something else, something good and authentic and important. It’s up to us. We get to decide.
Indeed. We get to decide.
Question: What do you worship?
You can leave an answer in the comments below.