It was Thomas Edison who said, “Success is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” He knew what he was talking about as he lived it each day, methodically trying a new idea or material until he perfected inventions such as the light bulb.

I have recently given some thought to what this saying means for the Christian life. How can what he said be translated into what we, as Christians, do to perfect our faith? In my thinking, I have given thought to what the idea of worship really means to me.

When asked, many people would say it means spending an hour in church, maybe with their hands in the air, singing emotionally to God. Although this is true, this is only a form of worship we are most familiar with; but there are others and some of them are more mundane.

As I see it, that one hour of singing is a lot like the one percent inspiration that Thomas Edison was talking about. It is a very necessary part of course, in much the same way as giving thought to a new idea is, but it is not what leads to long-term success in ideas, or in faith. Real success is found in what we do with the other 99%. In other words, it is what we do outside of our worship services that decide whether our Christian walk is successful or not.

So, what does that mean practically?

Well, I think it might mean that there is much more to “worship” than what we initially think. Worship is the act of putting God on His throne, putting Him not only in the center of the cosmos but of our daily lives.

When you think of one giving fealty to an earthly king, this becomes rather obvious. Watch a movie about the Middle Ages and you will see this in action. When the serfs are busy doing their manual work in the fields, their very act of working to provide for the king and his kingdom shows their veneration of him. Their loyalty and devotion are shown through how they live their lives day to day, no matter how menial their work might be.

In the battle of Trafalgar, Lord Nelson is quoted as having sent a message out to each sailor right before that battle began. “England expects every man to do His duty”- by implication he was referring to each one’s duty to their king.

Somehow this has been lost in our newest form of Christianity. The simple fact is that “God expects that each Christian will do their duty”.

What is your duty? It is the simple act of living day to day by the rules and paths that His Spirit lays out for each of us.

This is where the success part of Edison’s saying comes in. It is important that we spend one hour each week in emotionally charged worship, but the real meat and potatoes of the faith requires us to spend the other 167 hours of the week in another form of worship – that of showing fealty to our King in the small actions of our everyday living.