I found this excerpt from a book the other day and thought that I would love to share this with all of you, as well as some reflections I may have. I will note, my reflections are based from my Catholic background and faith. This is to let you, the reader, know to what I refer to many times. Thank you.
Excerpt from Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life
In his book Sacred Pathways, Gary identifies nine of the ways people draw near to God: Naturalists are most inspired to love God out-of-doors, in natural settings. Sensates love God with their senses and appreciate beautiful worship services that involve their sight, taste, smell, and touch, not just their ears. Traditionalists draw closer to God through rituals, liturgies, symbols, and unchanging structures. Ascetics prefer to love God in solitude and simplicity. Activists love God through confronting evil, battling injustice, and working to make the world a better place. Caregivers love God by loving others and meeting their needs. Enthusiasts love God through celebration. Contemplatives love God through adoration. Intellectuals love God by studying with their minds. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to worship and friendship with God.
There is no one-size-fits-all way to worship God and have friendship with God. I am Catholic, so therefore I believe that celebrating the Eucharist, going to adoration, and such things are very important. Jesus does give Himself to us through transubstantiation, a beautiful gift in of itself. There is one thing though, not all Catholics have to find God in their lives in the same way. I find that many times, people are trying to get others to worship in the exact way they are. This really turns people away when one tries to get someone to consider being Catholic and showing them everything about it. We become closed minded people to how others relate. When it comes to generations, we have a similar issue. As time goes on and the world changes, ways that people connect with God changes. This is not saying that we change the core of the faith, that stays the same as time goes on, it is Tradition. It is saying that certain things reach to us in different ways and we must be aware of that.
While I know in my heart that the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, are vital and core of the faith; I also know that my God experiences come in a more of a non-traditional way as well. I find from that list that is provided that I am a bit of everything. The three I think I connect with more are naturalists, caregivers, and enthusiasts. I have a love of the out-of-doors, feel drawn to taking care of others, and marvel in celebration through music! With the rest, I can find myself falling into those ways of drawing near to God. This is why I can understand and see more fully how we act and treat others when it comes to relationships with God.
What is it that causes us to think we have the one and only way. Like I said, I understand thinking and believing that being Catholic is the way to go, but there is more than that. Being Catholic does not mean we have to be cookie cutters in how we draw near to God and have a friendship with Him in addition to the core of the faith. If we understand how different people reach God, then we can better reach out to the community around us. Take some time and reflect on how you draw near to God. Be aware of how others reach God. My goal is to reach everyone where they are and show people that God can reach us in unique ways. Will you join me?