I touched the moon! Really! Sort of. I touched a pebble from the moon, about the size of a large postage stamp. It’s on display at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. I was in awe, touching a stone not of this world.
We humans are wired for awe and wonder. We want to be amazed. We yearn to transcend the ordinariness of life. We want to be able to exclaim, “Wow!” This is why we watch magicians, travel to the Grand Canyon, and fly into space.
A rabbit pulled from a hat, a big gap in the earth in Arizona, and a lunar pebble can prompt some awe and wonder, but it’s all appetizers, just a hint of what we can really experience. Ultimate satisfaction of our desire for the transcendent can only be satisfied by the one who is ultimately transcendent, God.
We’re wired to experience God and anything this side of heaven just can’t compare to that. But we live on this side of heaven and so we pursue all kinds of ways to satisfy our appetite to escape the humdrum. We try to get “high” by winning at a game, or getting caught up in fictional adventure in a movie, video game, or book. We try to find transcendence in a pill, syringe, or bottle. You can also add sex to the ways we seek to transcend the humdrum. G. K. Chesterton said that a man knocking at a prostitute’s door is really looking for God. Yes, we try all kinds of substitutes that are no substitute at all.
So, OK, our greatest experience of transcendence is with God but the problem is that God is in His heaven and we are on earth, right? That’s sort of true, but not completely. God is not only in is heaven be He is here, on earth, with us too!
Some day, if we’ve been open and responsive to God’s loving advances during our sojourn here on earth we’ll be in God’s heaven and get to experience Him as we never could in this lifetime here on earth. In the meantime, while we’re here on earth, we can open ourselves up to Him. We can think about Him, read about Him (after all, what’s a Bible for?), we can accept His grace and mercy, we can open up to His help, and make ourselves available to do His will. We can experience the holy in the midst of the humdrum.!
Touching a moon rock was great, but it falls far short of the unplanned, serendipitous moments on a regular basis when I feel I’ve touched the hem of Christ’s garment. The good news is that we can be open to His transcendent touch today!
“She came up behind him [Jesus] and touched the edge of his cloak.” (Luke 8:44)