February 1, 2010

A Moment of Epiphany

I was riding along the road tonight and had an epiphany.

I've always wondered what an "epiphany" is supposed to feel like. What that word means, really. But I think I was afforded a rare glimpse today. I was riding in the back of my friend's truck, driving along at a frank pace, being jostled to and fro by the erratic suspension, when I looked out the window, and was struck by a moment of such clarity, such peace, found directly in the beaming face of eternity.

I can't really describe it well. It was a moment of time where I felt completely... at ease. With myself, with my friends, with the crisp caress of the cool night air, with every thing, all despite the rough rub of Rhino paint. We were passing a a track field, specifically. I looked at the parking lot, with one streetlamp casting its ring of light to the asphalt, and was struck by an immediate and inexplicable sense of relief and tranquility. I realized, I think, in the rare, complete sense that we so infrequently experience, that I am God's beloved. And, even more precious than that, I felt it. It filled me to 'flowing, tincturing the world around me in a light that surpassed my surroundings, that illuminated past the physical barriers around me and cast my reality in the sparkling luster of revelation as well as blissful and complete acceptance. I continued to stare out the window for the next mile or so, just watching the world pass me by, and was awestruck.

How unbelievable is it that I am not just liked, but loved, by the God of all of this? The God of sunrises and sunsets, of the canyons and the mountains, of the cities and the plains, of the electrons that we can't see in light and the molecules that make up all of reality. How inconceivable is it that He adores me? That He would do anything, anything at all, to bring me out of the oil slick, of the unfathomable pit that I have afflicted myself with?

Who am I?

Who am I?

Who am I to receive this gift, this so-often unbelievable truth? Beneath my thick layer of sin, beneath all of my lies, my self-deception, behind the pupils of my eyes, the mass of flesh that is my brain, what is there? I realized, in this moment, that I am a soul. I am a unique, individual spirit, held down by bars of skin and flesh. All of these things around me? These trappings? These physical objects and even time itself? They will all end. They will burn out, break down, die and fade. Even the skin encasing my body wears out with time. Then again, even Time itself will fall through! It's a human perception, sense of existence. It will someday simply... cease to exist... whatever that means. And that fact didn't seem ominous to me. It simply was, and would be. And I felt at peace with it. But I was also at peace with the fact that I, who (and what) I truly am, will never end.


That wasn't labeled as unusual to my mind at the time. It only blew me away afterward. In that moment, though, it was commonplace. It was understood in my mind. It was earth-shatteringly peaceful.

This moment, I can't do justice. I usually can put words to my experiences in a pretty lucid fashion. But this? I can't think of one.

Except, maybe, just maybe, "epiphany."