Sometimes the simple act of standing on a chair and forcing your body to view the surroundings with a different perspective is enough to remind you that there is so much more. Sometimes standing on your car or laying on the grass in the middle of the night is enough to remind you nothing has to stay routine. For a moment you can embrace the absurdity of it all and see that you actually live in a sci-fi film.
I am not the best with social norms. The required facial responses. The common greeting, inquiry, and parting comments that evidently are in an ancient secret handbook somewhere hidden since my youth has alluded me. It has just never come natural to me. I am too distracted by how odd everything is.
Though I know relationships are being maintained and dreams realized around me, it all seems a bit unintentionally surface–almost as if these interactions are a bridge to cross just to get to the next moment because, once you go off script, the routine is interrupted and you wade out into the mysterious and uncertain where the suppressed questions and thoughts wait with the sole purpose of preventing you from returning to “normal.” If we acknowledge these observations and questions it appears too difficult to function within a society that demands us to keep at least a portion of the status quo so that “normality” is maintained. Our minds toy with this acknowledgment periodically, but we move on for the sake of making “life” work.
We decide to make the miraculous the mundane. Mundane becomes a norm. Thus “normal” becomes the worldview we find ourselves surviving in. It will get us through the day just enough so that we can maybe catch a glimpse later at a place of worship, while creating art, watching a film, or enjoying a nice whiskey. But we spend all the spaces in-between taking for granted miraculous mysteries that we have allowed to be overshadowed by the necessities of “maintaining” life.
We are conscious blobs of flesh that emerged from other blobs of flesh, held to the ground by an invisible force, while making noises that other blobs recognize, existing on a sphere in the middle of a substance called space that holds wonders we will likely never reach, in a dimension which we are told is one of countless others scientists are discovering, that all has some sort of beginning but also some kind of pre-beginning that the brightest flesh blobs have no capability of understanding. Pretty sci-fi. An incredibly long mispunctuated sentence. Definitely not mundane.
Regardless of your particular belief system, most of us, when we are truly alone, wonder why there is something rather than nothing. That is a question at the center of a book by Jim Holt entitled, “Why Does the World Exist?” that I highly recommend for those so inclined with questions of the sort. Sadly, you won’t find the answer in those pages. But you will find perspective. Perspective from philosophers, priests, monks, theologians, scientists, etc. If you allow it, these perspectives can lead you to address your own. And your perspective matters. It can change the world. Or shall I say, what you do with your perspective can change the world.
If you see everything as routine and mundane, that is what you propagate. You become just another object floating in and out of other people’s mundane “normal” lives. But if you live with wonderment, that is what you spread. You now stand out in the midst of the world’s mundane perspectives, becoming an object that can pull them free. As I discussed previously, we are taught to see the world–our Christianity–as black and white with no interaction. Normal or crazy. Spiritual or secular.
Eastern religions and cultures (which Christianity is a part of) have a better understanding of the relationship between physical and spiritual than most mainstream Christianity unfortunately. We typically separate them. But the physical and the spiritual coexist. Within Judaism, the temple was a place where earth and heaven met. Both dimensions coming together. For those who are followers of Christ, we are told that we are now temples.
“Those in whom the Spirit comes to live are God’s new Temple. They are, individually and corporately, places where heaven and earth meet.” – N.T. Wright, Simply Christian
We are literally beings carrying with us a piece of the new Kingdom–the reconciliation of heaven and earth. It sounds absurd, but that is the reality of what we believe through the Christ.
Everything Jesus did was to bring creation into rightness with the Creator. The life He lived was an example of heaven and earth colliding, and collision causes friction. No one said that holding on to wonder and walking outside a dualistic mindset would be an easy endeavor while dealing with the struggles of life.
We live in a sci-fi reality in which the best of films only mirror darkly. To keep ignoring it is to forget what we are and what we can be for each other. So in our search for balance we may have to stand on a car every once in a while. We can never allow our perspective to become “normal.” We can never allow the miraculous to become the mundane.