Monday, March 1, 2010

Experience as Idol

Memories of God #9

I don't remember how or when I came to this conclusion, but it's maybe worth noting as I reminisce about God.

There was a period of fairly intense experiences of what I would call God. This was late college years and a few years following. I've mentioned or otherwise alluded to a couple of them.

Then somewhere, those experiences stopped. Not entirely, but the intensity of them did. I wanted those spiritual highs all the time, why were they suddenly absent?

And I realized that the highs were becoming my god, not the God I met in the experiences. Subtle difference, I suppose, but it's a bit like a love relationship. You can only have so many orgasms until someone has to get up and go to work. There are other things to do besides making love---which is how many mystics allude to their experiences.

So as I spend some time these lenten days, reflecting on my memories of God, I feel it's important to pause and remember: sometimes there are no fireworks. Sometimes you go through days hardly noticing or acknowledging one another. These are the days of ordinary time, days of contentment, days of discontent, but days that make up our ordinary lives.

They are days of choosing faithfulness in the boredom. They are days of knowing God by not feeling a tap on the shoulder.

It's knowing God by remembering, holding God in our memory even as God remembers us.

1 comment:

  1. well said, Neil. thanks for the reminder that chasing 'experiences' is idolatry.