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Worship Opens Our Lives to Ultimate Beauty and Goodness

When I was nine or ten years old, my parents gave me a birthday surprise …. [They] announced I was going on a mystery tour and needed to be blindfolded. First we drove a few miles. Then I was helped out of the car, giggling, trying unsuccessfully to see out of the blindfold's sides, and needing to hold on to my parents' hands. I had no idea where we were. At first we walked in the open air, then we entered a building and began climbing up steps. Up and up—I knew it must be a tower. Once or twice people passed by—"Kidnapping him?" they said. We climbed higher.

Reaching the top, I could feel the sun and breeze on my face. My mother and father took the blindfold off, and I blinked with happiness at the sight before me. I was at the top of the Cabot Tower in Bristol, England. The city lay below, the river danced beneath, countryside rolled beyond, and the sea glinted in the distance. It was dazzling and brilliant as I stood there with my kid brother and my parents. Reflecting now on that moment, I am fairly sure it was the first time in my life that I truly experienced being alive.

Up until then I had little perception of a world full of beauty, trust, love, purity, and joy. But right then its big picture just couldn't be beaten. Everything was good in the deep places of my body, mind, and spirit. Astonishingly good! As I have grown older, I have had a few other experiences like that, and definitely the best times have been in worship when I have known, joining with others, that I belong to God in depths of beauty, trust, love, purity, and joy.

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