Since worshipping humans, not to mention things existing in nature or carved by humans, or beings of the imagination which don’t even exist, would be a sign of – “off”ness – why worship God? Why isn’t the desire to worship itself a universal sign of “off”ness?
What is worship? Where does the desire/need to worship come from (weakness of character – sheep mentality?)? What inside us motivates us to worship someone/something? Has God ever stopped us from worshipping Him (has He ever said that the desire to worship Him is “off”?), or from worshipping Him in a certain way that He considered “off” (and then showed us an acceptable way?)?
I don’t think there is a conflict of interest (all by itself) in believing “exactly what soothes your existential worries and offers a validating meaning in the meaninglessness” if you take out the part about meaninglessness. I mean — if you automatically rule out as untrue anything that would soothe your existential worries, yadda yadda yadda — if you automatically rule out the possibility of meaning — isn’t that a conflict of interest (in more ways than one)?
Adopted children seek their biological parents to answer the question “How am I supposed to be?” We seek out our spiritual Creator (in whatever way ‘filling the void’ manifests, be it space exploration, Buddhism, or going straight to the source: God) to answer the same question, on a higher level. To say we can give spiritual birth to ourselves (“phoenix rising from the ashes”) is as practical as saying we can give natural birth to ourselves. He is that which completes us, He is the missing piece of the puzzle.
Reverential respect and admiration at it’s highest form is worship. The person or object you show the most respect and admiration is the person or object you worship (think really quick: who is that person in your life?). That person should be the person most worthy of respect and admiration, who has the most influence on you and most challenges you: God. You show respect in the same ways you show someone that you like or love them. How you honor humans by showing them reverential respect and admiration, and how you ask them for help, and all other forms of discourse with them, differs from how you communicate with an invisible God (free from social pretense).
The way we have worshipped has changed over the ages. God set up many ways of worship for the purpose of distinguishing Himself from the false gods and detestable ways of worshipping them. People are humbled and feel a need to worship when faced with the presence of God, and He has given us acceptable ways of doing so. If you are really interested, read the Old Testament. Hebrews and Romans are good New Testament sources for how things have changed since the Old Testament. John 15:15
I think one of the best ways to worship God is to follow His command to love eachother.
If the best thing for us to do (worship God, love God) is also the best thing for God to do (worship and love Himself) — is this narcissistic? No. Let’s break it down. He does all things to glorify His name. His name (who He is), His glory, is Love (as demonstrated on the cross). To worship Himself, to love Himself, is to love, period. His loving us is not His worshipping us (whereas our loving Him is our worshipping Him), but it is demonstrating the self-sacrificial love that is Him (it is worshipping Him). As mentioned previously, to worship Him, to show Him the highest form of love, the ultimate good, is to self-sacrificially love (ourselves and others including Him) as He self-sacrificially loves us and Himself. When we are told to love others as we love ourselves, it assumes by default that we love ourselves, and it doesn’t put a bad spin on it (for, in God’s eyes, we are all equally important… all us others… all us selves… others are not more important than self… self is not more important than others). It would only be bad if we didn’t follow that up with loving others accordingly (as self). God’s love is neither self-effacing love, nor selfish love. One way of applying that in our own lives is (a) to cut others the same amount of slack we cut ourselves… and (b) cut ourselves the same amount of slack we cut others. The amount of slack in statement “a” should be equal to the amount of slack in statement “b”. Our motivation for cutting ourselves and others an equal amount of slack is that God cut us slack before we even knew we needed it.