There is a trend on social media that I am rather smitten with. This is how it works. People share a “knowledge revelation” in this form, “I was today years old when I discovered….,” fill in the blank. Let me offer an example, “I was today years old, when I discovered that the handle of a screwdriver fits a wrench so you can better loosen screws.”
Did it work? Did you know that? I often smile at these types of posts and frequently find myself sharing the “knowledge revelation.” I enjoy that the posts capture a shared astonishment and delight in finding and learning something new, coupled with the humility and grace to publicly declare and share ignorance. I love knowing that moments of awakening can happen when we least expect it and yet are all around us. The posts are little reminders to pay attention, to be mindful, to be humble, and to share joy.
There is a Zen proverb that states, “Before enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water.” It implies that enlightenment happens on the journey of everyday. Then it suggests that enlightenment awakens and returns you to the everyday.
The idea that enlightenment is a series of everyday awakenings, sensations of acute aliveness, and a recognition that we have been changed by the experience is appealing. It gives the practical everyday a sense of purpose. We are on a journey to collect, hold, and share in all the beauty and fragility.
As the earth awakens this April, may you find the time and space to look for and reflect on the everyday enlightenments. If you need little reminders to pay attention, to be mindful, to be humble, and to share joy, I recommend taking your journey downstairs at church to be with our children and youth.
I know I am biased, but these little humans are full of joyful revelations.
Minister of Religious Education