As a proud didgeridoo player, I am keenly aware of the attraction of pagan worship forms.
There is nothing quite like sitting peacefully in the bush blowing intensly down a long hollowed log. The earthy sound of the didg, combined with the backup vocals of the kookuburras, and the hyperventilation of circular breathing, creates a kind of spiritual experience in a matter of minutes. It is no wonder Aborigines traditionally believe that the didgeridoo is a religious instrument; that it rouses the spirit world.
The scene remains vivid in my memory, though it is nearly 20 years ago now.
I am sitting in my bedroom at the side of our big old farmhouse, a teenager, listless at that time of the evening when anything is better than homework. It is a warm summer night and the cicadas are belting out their chorus like an army of protesters with whistles. Into my little Sanyo cassette player I insert a tape borrowed from a friend. The latest Christian singer-songwriter—well, ‘latest’ as far as Lismore was concerned anyway— Keith Green.
Walking out of the lounge room on Wednesday nights last year, I always performed a ritual of huge significance: the issuing of instructions to record the latest escapades of Mulder and Scully as they probe the unknown in The X-Files. As for many Australians, this show, with its extra-terrestrials, UFOs, supernatural occurrences, stories of the mysterious, the psychic and the bizarre has become required watching for me. Even though I have no time for the conspiracy theories and stories portrayed and implied, I’m addicted. There is something about this genre which captivates me.
Prayer is a universal phenomenon amongst mankind. Men and women have always prayed everywhere. It is a natural consequence of believing in God. Humanity, by nature, believes in the existence of deity, that is, in a super-human, powerful, eternal being or beings with whom we are related and on whom, in some way, we depend. It is a concept congruous with our knowledge of ourselves and of the world. And so prayer is a natural activity. It springs out of our sense of need and of God’s relationship to us and his ability to help.