On a whim…

Life without whimsy is not much of a life at all; without it, a walk in the dark is no laughing matter.

Heading to Epiphany

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In the provencial naivete of my youth I was curious why, while traveling in Spain,  they still had Christmas lights up in January. Having no familiarity with Epiphany and only vaguely aware that the “Twelve Days of Christmas” had some basis in fact left me clueless.

 Since then I have aquired an affection for a theological understanding of the term and I have adopted it as a frame of reference to explain the unexpected intrusions of good ideas into my otherwise mundane life.

 Epiphanies, if not ‘the’ Epiphany, are intrusions in fact. I imagine being seated in a comfortable chair quietly assimilating the characteristics of a potatoe when an idea, a good one, lands somewhere above and to the right of my hippocampus. My rapid transformation into barely sentient starch is halted by an immediate, if not always welcome, reaction.

I find, as years pass, that the frequency of these intrusions has not abated but my ability to resist them has grown. My resitance to these is unfortunate for some but as my epiphanies have not produced any vaccines, life transforming technologies, or even a particularly good sermon, the declining number of reactions has hurt no one other than myself.

Realizing this leads me to think that it may now be time for me to pursue such moments rather than wait for them. I need to hitch myself to a team of verbs and ‘go’. Of course I recall my preferred cliche for explaining my inaction, “My get-up-and-go got up and went.”

Why don’t I want to ‘go’? Is it because those with whom I would most wish to share are unaffected or, worse, alienated by my experiences? My children are generally disinterested in the things that interest me. This is as it should be, I suppose. Their epiphanies may have another source and, in any case, another direction.

As for me, I find myself aware of God’s presence, or more often God’s absence. I find myself seated in church and keenly aware that God seems to have taken a long sabbatical. Maybe “The Almighty” is looking for new material or is engaged in the plight of more interesting parishoners.  I can’t say where God is, but I feel pretty certain of where God is not.

 God seems to have little relevance to my children which is a shame because I am certain despite God’s prolonged absence it is a temporary state. Perhaps their generation has confused God with church? Church, temple, mosque, shrine, mantra, etc, as expressions of religion, are not synomyns for God. But that is an epiphany for another day. The point here is that sooner or later God will come looking after us whether we happen to be looking for God.  Surprise!

Someone, a friend now estranged by distance and time, recently called me. (An epiphany?)  He found my number in the debris of abandoned letters and called. “How are you?” came the question to which I replied, “I get up. I eat breakfast. I go to work. I come home. I eat supper. I go to bed. I start over.”

Even as I complained about the grossly mundane nature of my life I realized that it is far more complicated than that. “How are you?” “Oh, well, I am on the road to Epiphany.”

I know not when, where, or how but the day is closer now than ever, the day of my greatest Epiphany. It is not simply a matter of ‘the great sleep’ that awaits us all. It is the moment of final wakefulness when some of us, at least, find our conscious minds alert to the reality that the road has reached it’s end and the moment of transition has come.

 Whether it is simply a transition from sensibility and intent to decaying matter vaguely familiar to the bereaved (“Oh, he looks so natural.”) or something more I cannot say. I do not know. It is a mystery. The most avid athiest can be no more authoritative in this regard than the most ardent fundamentalist cleric. It is a mystery but I hold to the notion that in that moment there is a cosmic ‘surprise’.

I am on the road to Epiphany. I hope I have a ways to go; A long ride down a bumpy road loaded with smaller ephanies. And I hope, in the meantime, to be more vigorous in response to the little epiphanies of each day.

Written by David Wilkerson

26 December 2007 at 11:51 pm

Posted in death, epiphany, theology

Tagged with , ,

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