Worshiping the Burger god
There is no doubt in my mind that what you choose to worship will change who you are. The Liturgy of life, that is, what we worship in the mundane tasks of life, affects your schedule, energy levels, and willingness to go beyond your physical constraints to help others.
We are all religious people. By that, I mean that we each hold that life should be a certain way, the world should function in a particular manner. It may not be there yet, but one day it can be. This is what James K.A. Smith, in his book Desiring the Kingdom, refers to as seeking "the good life," or our preferred version of what our life should be like.
People who go to church our worship a deity are said to be "Religious." But those who deny any faith in a supernatural being or force still live in a religious manner. Their lives are governed by a set of standards that have been introduced by culture, media, education, and life experiences (both positive and negative) and their actions follow the course. They have been taught what to love and what not to love and the liturgy of their lives dictates their daily choices.
Perhaps an illustration would be helpful. In my lifetime I have been taught to love cheeseburgers. The advertisements on billboards, the family BBQ's, and the evangelists of Food Network have beckoned me to present my offering of cash on the altar of bread, beef, and cheese. In exchange for my offering, I receive a greasy stand-in for a communion wafer. I partake.
Often I worship this burger with my friends and complete strangers at establishments of varying quality. Sometimes my worship is drive-thru and other times more upscale. I have worshiped the burger by taking my time, talent, and treasure and offering it in exchange for the presence of the beef in my belly.
The Worship of the Burger god
Comparing the ritual of eating burgers to worshiping God may seem silly on the surface, but it's not far fetched. Think about the ritual of consuming food.
- We travel to a dedicated location where to presence of the Burger god claims to exist
- We devote an offering of resources (time, talent, treasure) to obtain the presence of Burger god
- We gather with friends and strangers at the McMecca of Burger god
- We photograph (or iconify) the Burger god and sing its praises on social media
- We evangelize the full blessings of being filled with the Burger god to anyone who will hear
- We vow to return to the Burger temple for we have experienced the Ultimate Burger in its fullness
- We get tempted by the siren call of other Burger evangelists
- We cheat on our allegiance to the Burger god and offer ourselves to another Burger god who promises a better experience. We declare that a little taste will not affect our relationship with our first Burger god
- We scrupulously compare the two Burger gods and are forced to decide which will have our eternal allegiance.
- We hear the varied cries of many more Burger evangelist and the process of whoring ourselves to the multitude of Burger gods has begun in earnest
- Our constant whoring has led to us contracting embarrassing diseases such as acne and obesity. These make mating with other humans increasingly difficult.
- We realize our incessant whoring has made us fat and miserable and that we must make a life change.
- We repent, get clean, and swear allegiance to our new found god - the leafy green salad.
- Then we remember our first love and take a midnight trip to the temple of the Burger god.
- The cycle starts over.
You Will Worship. Yes, You will.
Whether you want to admit it or not humans are made for worship. We are wired to look at life in terms of what should be and what could be as long as it benefits me. How you worship and what you worship are critical choices to how your life will play out.
Please make no mistake, you will worship something. I can easily substitute the burger for shopping, popularity, intellect, or social causes. Some worship is more culturally acceptable than others. We look tend to look positively on those who worship their jobs and family, but poorly on those who worship alcohol or sex.
Misplaced worship will always leave you wanting more. You will be susceptible to the call of culture's evangelists. An offer of immediate gratification in exchange for disposable income is hard to ignore. Its the cheapest of cheap grace and the quickest way to mute the cries of your soul.
Even so, God our Father runs toward you when you turn to him. Even when you wished him dead, sang the praises of someone else, and squandered all his blessings until you had to prostitute yourself for slop, he still runs to you.
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