The experience behind the experience

image: Tegan Mierle

Many of us are looking for ‘religious experiences’ these days. We’re seeking places and events that make us feel… more alive.

Some find them in a church. Others in a bar. Many find them in the ingestion of a plant or a chemical. Or in television or writing or dancing or relationships or zip codes or raves or bluegrass festivals (I could go on).

But here’s the thing…

The enjoyment of experiences are nice, but fleeting. If we’re seeking joy and meaning in experiences alone, I’m afraid we’ll be let down after the thrill goes away every time.

As the great theologian, Peter Rollins says…

Life is not what you experience. Life is what allows you to experience

There’s always more going on in life than we think.

Especially in today’s world when we’re flying around as busy as we are with as many distractions as we have, it’s easy to skim the surface and crave something… more.

But ‘more’ isn’t necessarily out there. 
It’s right here.

Life isn’t necessarily in our experiences. 
It’s in the experience behind the experiences. 
It’s the thing that allows us to experience.

When we see how amazing it is for us to be able to experience this life in the first place, the most mundane moments of our lives are transformed into religious experiences.

Wow... Can you believe it?
We. Can. Experience.

It’s not just driving to work... 
It means we’re wealthy enough to have a car. 
We have means of income. 
We don’t have to hitch a ride or ride a mule into town.
We can get places by sitting down, pushing some pedals, and turning a wheel.

It’s not just going to the store…
It means we have enough resources to buy food so we can keep living.
We don’t have to beg, steal, hunt, gather, barter, or go without.
We can just hand someone money and they give us sustenance.

We’re not just changing another diaper…
It means we have the blessed opportunity to be with our own child as they grow into little humans.
We’re healthy enough to do this and they’re healthy enough to… Poop.
Our hearts are beating. As are theirs. 

We are granted this gift of life for another moment. We can experience.

When we connect with that deep undergirding flow of consciousness that runs beneath our experiences, we can feel more and more alive in each and every moment.

But I gotta say… I’m glad my daughter’s not in diapers anymore.

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Jonas writes short stories and preachments about spiritual, whimsical, creative matters on the daily here in Higher Thoughts. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing below.