Why do I pray? Why do I fast? Why do I seek seclusion? And why do I read? Is it in order to be a man of prayers, or fasting or to be known as a lover of seclusion or a man of knowledge?
Do I like to be a worshipper? Is this a lust I have for a certain purpose? Do I want to be exalted or to see myself a great man and the means is to succeed and surpass the others along this way? Am I concerned about myself; what is my position? How can I attain it and when? How can I be spiritually promoted?
Do I really love God Himself or the way which leads me to Him? For example, do I love prayers or love God to whom I pray? Sometimes I notice many imperfections in me: When I recite all the psalms required from me, I feel happy not because I was talking with God but because this proves that I am successful in performing my worship duties as a monk!! On the other hand when I fail to recite all the required psalms I feel sorry, not because I did not enjoy talking with God but because I am unsuccessful monk. I feel the same regarding my fasting, my watching and my readings.
It is absolutely a personal matter, it is an evident selfishness which fills me with the desire to be exalted in my own eyes irrespective of my relation with God! When will the time come when I do not pray even one psalm, yet I feel happy because in spite of this I am abiding in God through other means of worship?
Do I pray to feel the pleasure and enjoyment of talking with You and to feel the happiness of being in Your presence? Or do I pray so that I may acquire a virtue by which I attain eternal life? Perhaps I do pray to talk with You and ask You to give me that life? Is the prayer from my own point of view an objective or just a means? For example when one interrupts my privacy and my prayer I rage against him, I lose my inner peace with people. Consequently I feel disturbed within me and lose my peace with God also. This means that the prayer is an objective not a means and in order to attain this objective I must deviate and behave in a wrong way!!
Worship is just a way that leads to God but God is the aim, Love is a way, ministry is a way but the aim is one i.e. God. Why then do we lose God in order to keep Him! and the way that leads to Him is in the form of desire! Let us then love the way not because it is desirable for it is indeed so but because it leads us to God. Let us hurry along the way and cross it quickly to arrive to Him. It is perfection to make God Himself our way because He Himself is the way as He said (John. 14:6).