The reason for my skepticism is my own personal experience. I was an Agnostic 30 years ago when the Gods and Goddesses started to speak to me. ( It was more like a faint whisper at first ) I hated organized religion, and still do in many respects, and had never heard the word Asatru used before. To me Thor, Odin, and Asgard were just fiction in some comic book written by Marvel. Why would they choose to speak to me ? That is the question that still remains partially unanswered in my mind. Frankly they shouldn' t have ! I ignored them at first, and even rejected them several times before their message became clear to me. When I finally decided to accept them I had no clue as to what I was supposed to do, or what they wanted from me !
The Gods, in my opinion, work on a different standard of time than we could ever possibly hope to understand. For over 25 years they slowly, ( And I mean slowly ) gave me one piece of their puzzle at a time, until I finally had an understanding of what they wanted. The problem was that what they wanted was not something that I wanted, or felt I had the capability to do. I did not want to tell anyone that I was a Pagan, and I sure as hell did not want to take the title of Godi ! I was scared to death of the Heathen community ! The few people I had dealings with in our religion were rude and heartless, and I wanted no part of them !
Then in 2009, on my way to the counter at Barnes and Noble, I was detoured, or maybe re - directed is a better word, down an aisle that contained travel books. I remember seeing a book on Iceland and thought to myself : " Who in their right mind would want to go there ! Curious I picked up the book and read some of it over coffee. One of the first things I turned to was a small paragraph about Asatru in Iceland. Suddenly I had a feeling of urgency that I had never felt before ! I had to go to Iceland ! I didn't have a passport, never been on a commercial jet before, and the only foreign country I had visited was Canada. Somehow I found a travel agent, made hotel reservations, got a passport, and bought plane tickets. The scariest thing was that I had to go by myself ! So I went alone to an island in the middle of nowhere without having a clue as to what the hell I was doing ! I just knew the Gods wanted me to go ! The trip went flawlessly ! The few times when problems came up, a solution was right behind it that was even better ! The Gods showed me on that trip what religion really is, and it has nothing to do with rituals, sumbels, blots, warrior ethics etc.... It is about the love and devotion that we have for our Gods, Martyrs, Ancestors, etc.. and the love and devotion that they return to us in all that they have done, and continue to do for us every day. The trip made me a stronger person and gave me the inner strength to do what they asked me to do.
When I got back, with the help of a fellow Heathen, ( The only one who had shown me kindness at that point ) , I started a blog, which I had never done; on a computer, which I had never owned; and started writing articles. I was stronger, but still thought the Gods had chosen unwisely. At first no one came to my site, and I couldn' t blame them. I am not a writer, nor do I pretend to be.
I kept going even though I constantly told the Gods that they had chosen the wrong person. Then it happened ! My articles got better, and people started to come. I had never written a poem in my life, but suddenly my mind was flooded with poetry. I never dreamed I could write short stories, and yet I literally started dreaming them. I have now written 80 poems, nine stories, ( the tenth is in the works ), and 542 articles in just over two years. When the Gods feel you are ready they offer you so much. You just have to be open up to what they give you, and work like hell to make it work !
Recently it finally hit me. The Gods don't care how many rituals we hold in their honor. They don't care how many times we honor them during a blot. They don't care if we are the perfect person, or for that matter the perfect Pagan. What they care about is us being honest with ourselves, and in our dealings with others, and of course especially them. Over the years they may not have liked many of the things I have said and done, especially when I was rejecting them, but they were always my honest feelings, and opinions. I never told them I believed in them when I didn' t . I never agreed to do anything they wanted until I was ready, and most of all I never promised them anything I could not, or did not, want to give them. I think they chose me, and choose others like me, because we don't hide behind false feelings. They may not always like what I say or do, but it is to the best of my knowledge the truth as I know it. For better or worse I have always spoken from the heart.
I guess the original question, " What Makes Us Worthy", can be answered by me by simply saying : " What makes us worthy is our honesty, integrity, and what we hold in our hearts to be true. Always be truthful with them ! If you don't like honoring some Gods, don't. I can't think of many things worse than a false ritual to a God. If you want to honor Jotuns, be honest with them and yourself, and do as your heart tells you. If you lie the Gods will know anyway, so be true to yourself, and everyone around you. Yes, if I had to answer that question I would choose honesty every time !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !