You Matter to Me

The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley once said, "Familiar acts are beautiful through love.” In India, we have two approaches to worshipping God. The first involves repeating worship patterns that have been passed down to us from our forefathers. In this type of worship, we make our offerings systematically. Love or emotion does not have much place in this type of worship. Ultimately, our attention becomes more focussed on the actions themselves than on the object of our worship.
In contrast, the other path of worship is that of love. In this path, we build a relationship with the object of our devotion; God becomes our son, brother, beloved or friend. The God of love, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, emphasised this second form of worship, asking us to adore the Lord by making him our own.
It’s like the difference between serving our relatives out of mere duty, and taking care of them lovingly with a heartfelt connection. When we serve with love, all the boredom vanishes from our relationships. People are not boring, but we tend to get bored with them because our attention wanders, and this creates disconnection between us. But when we offer our full love and attention to the object of our love, our attitude says clearly: “You matter to me. You have my respect. I love you.”