Spiritual Experiences

Spirituality is a lot more complex and subtle than we normally consider. Have you ever had one of those moments that was just heavy… there’s not much else I can say to describe it. It’s just saturated with… something.

Usually when we talk about spiritual moments or days or places we are talking about prayer, deep theological conversations, singing worship songs… you know… the kind of things you do inside a church building. You see, we’ve been missing out. Our culture has misidentified spiritual experience and has allowed moments of deep spiritual meaning to be categorized as something else, something smaller. We’ve shrugged off our spiritual experiences as just meaningless fun or just a cool thing we saw or did. We’ve tried to fit God inside the church walls. Did you ever think that possibly what you are doing right now is a spiritual experience?

Today at the TEAM conference, pretty much all day up until about half an hour ago, we’ve been doing some team building within our Zones (small groups). At the beginning of the day I asked the students in my group to describe for me a “spiritual experience.” The basic concept that was presented was that those were the times that God “knocks your socks off.” I agreed with the students that those are often the most profound experiences we have but I then told them that it’s not just in those obvious moments when we can’t help but notice God’s presence. Spirituality is everywhere. The Spirit of God is breath and I’ve never been anywhere on Earth that I couldn’t have breath, otherwise I wouldn’t be typing this. God’s Spirit is as close as your very next breath and so it’s less about waiting for the big moments and more about recognizing the small moments for what they really are. I asked the students to try to see that the experience they were about to have could be one of the most deeply spiritual moments of their entire life even though we weren’t in church or listening to a speaker. The simple experience of each other, though subtle, was filled with God’s Spirit today.

What did you do yesterday? Who did you have lunch with this afternoon? What are you planning for tomorrow? What are you doing right now? Maybe this is where God is. Maybe this mundane, ordinary minute is a profound spiritual experience waiting to be recognized and embraced.