I think God (G-d, god, gods) tends to surprise.
In a world where it’s easy to explain away wonder with science, I’m working hard to leave room for the spiritual these days. I’ve found that most often, the spiritual shows up (if you let it/him/her) when you’re around other people.
Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to leave conversations that are good for my soul. These are moments shared over drinks or a meal, around a conference table or in a hotel lobby, that make me better than when I entered them. It’s these conversations that challenge me and leave me wanting more.
Of course, certain books or TED talks can challenge and entertain, but rarely do I leave with a spiritual experience. TED talks can be viewed alone and books are read silently to myself. I receive education from those opportunities, but I don’t leave with a soul moment.
On Monday night, I shared a meal with my friend Lee, someone I’ve known for over a decade. He’s helping to start a church in Hunstville. He knows he’s crazy, but he also knows this is what he should be doing. We talked some about that, but we also covered another range of topics and dived deep into some dark and uncovered places - places where we (any of us) don’t usually let people in. When you get to those places with people, when you’re willing to let people in at the corners and expose a piece of yourself (and walk carefully when they return the blessed favor), you feel like you’ve stumbled onto something.
It looks a lot like holy ground.
I had another holy ground moment on Tuesday night. My friend James was in town (he has a new book out, by the way). We talked some about his book, but we also went deeper than catching up on itineraries and lists. We overturned and rolled away stones. And it was special, to stand on each other’s holy ground with reverence and respect, with just the right balance of silence and questioning.
We can deliberately seek out moments of spirituality, and usually the default method of doing so is to darken the doorway of a church or mosque, to attend a prayer meeting, read the Torah, listen to a sermon, or spend time in prayer. We can prod the spirit(s) on and maybe she’ll show up when we ask.
But sometimes, we accidentally find ourselves in the midst of spiritual moments. These can be fun times, if we’re ready and open enough to recognize them as such. Be careful; if you’re too busy or too proud then you can miss the awe of the place where you stand.
And in those moments, you don’t need to explain. You just need to exist.