Over the years, I’ve grown accustomed to closing my eyes, stilling my heart, feeling myself connect with infinity, with the Eternal. losing myself in God, connected and grounded, yet aloft.
Too many times, though, I’ve tried to capture God – using this methodology or some other. Capture, like the disciples tried to capture eternity at the Transfiguration, promising to erect tents as though experience with God could be possessed. Intellectually, we know experience cannot be possessed, I know it cannot be owned. The entire reason God’s name is unpronounceable is to prevent us from confusing experience with ownership. Experience is gift. One hundred percent. Ownership is Eden-demise.
Nonetheless, capture I still try. These past several years, when hiking or cycling on trails, or jogging, or simply exploring through wilderness, in empty and thin space, when I stop to observe, to listen, to lose myself in the universe of God, I find myself grounded, yet aloft. The zen-like sensation of becoming one with the universe becomes mine, or so I think. Stopping to appreciate, after all, is vital. You remember that line in The Color Purple that goes something like this: I think it pisses God off when you pass a field in the color purple, and don’t notice.
I intentionally notice, but now I know, when I notice in order to capture God, I can no longer call it noticing. Noticing as a methodology to manipulate experience is not noticing.
Noticing means letting go of self, and these days, I notice that God shows-up in myriads of ways I cannot control. Rather than hike or ride or explore and stop and sense myself as one with … whatever … or at least to stop to sense that … I find God shows-up differently, in the exercise itself, perhaps, in the length of the hike, in the distance from civilization and self, in the process as much as in the result. Thinking now of this line from the the movie, Chariots of Fire: When I run, I feel his pleasure.
When I live, I feel his pleasure. When I walk the dogs, I feel her pleasure. When I write, I feel their pleasure.
Imagine, feeling God’s pleasure, and perhaps that is a bit piece of what the MP collect intends when we pray, to know you is eternal life …