Worship and Joy
I have been learning for a number of years now about the extremely important presence of “joy” for proper development of the brain. Understanding the true meaning of this word is part of knowing how it grows one of the most important parts of the brain, the part needed for dealing with trauma. And learning about the real nature of joy has been a real help for me in learning how to better relate to others and as well as how to prepare for future problems myself by growing this part of my brain more effectively.
But something interesting came to my attention quite recently as I was listening to some teachings by the same person that taught me the background information about joy and brain development. This also came right around the time that I experienced for myself an event that deeply moved my spirit and riveted my attention for a few minutes in the presence of God like I have not experienced for a number of years.
As I listened to Dr. Jim Wilder describe what likely really happened during the miracles of the loaves and fishes Jesus performed with His disciples, I was deeply moved and surprised by the unexpected truths that emerged from that story. Then, in conjunction with learning about this from his teaching I also had an unexpected encounter of deep worship with God right in my living room that moved my spirit at a deeper level than I have felt for a long time, if ever.
As I fell on my knees in an intense response of adoration, praise and just pure emotion before God, I thought about what was happening in that moment inside of me. The more I thought about it as I simply chose to enjoy and savor it while it was still going on, the more I began to realize that what I was experiencing was one of the purest forms of real joy that humans can possibly experience. That is not to say that my capacity is very big for this kind of experience. But to the extent of my small capacity to embrace such an emotion I was pretty well maxed out during this time.
The more I thought about this the more I realized that real worship is probably one of the best ways to develop more joy capacity in the brain. Since the true definition of joy is the sensation that one experiences when someone else is genuinely glad to be with them, experiencing the presence of God and sensing that He is genuinely glad to be with me is likely the epitome of joy. I guess that I had just never thought of worship from that perspective before.
Of course, there are other ways that God wants me to grow my joy capacity besides worship of Him and enjoying the feeling of His presence consciously close to me. But there is no other being that I am allowed to worship if I am to be loyal to God. So every other joy-building exercise will necessarily involve other methods besides worship if I am to grow and bond the way I was intended to grow.
I know that I still have a great deal to learn of how to properly develop joy bonds with other people. I still cannot even worship deeply when other people are around and that really disturbs me. This is one of the most difficult areas of my life, but it is one that God is not going to leave me stunted in for long. I am trusting Him to guide me through more joy-building exercises and to teach me how to be better connected with more and more of His children as time goes on. But in the meantime and all through time, I can have the wonderful privilege of taking every opportunity I can find to indulge in real and deeply satisfying worship whenever I can.