Monday, October 31, 2011

Superly Natural and the Supernatural

Today I made a box maze.  This is year three actually.  Life, though seemingly lost in the 21st century abyss, is a rhythm. I do, what seems new and great, as I have every year.  Time marches on, and nothing is played the same twice, and yet, always to the same four seasons sheet music.  Tomorrow is Halloween which means today, I made a maze.

It’s all so cut and dry (pardon the pun).  Boxes arrive from a member of the congregation who owns a motorcycle dealership. Mike, Tony&Di + a million little kids, and a few others come to the church.  Chairs are stacked, boxes brought in, and we begin.  My fingers grow sore from pulling zip-ties, stabbing with a box cutter, and ordering around the little kids running through the maze holding duck-tape and more zip-ties.  FINALLY the walls are up and half the group gives up leaving me and a few strong others to finish the roof.  In the end I’m the last standing…literally in the middle of the maze.  I begin the crawl through.  This year was impressive, I made it out without hitting a dead end but impressive all the same.  Everything looks different from inside, slightly claustrophobic, but to be honest my rug burned knees keep the hysteria to a minimum. 

I can’t decide what’s better, to be the maze maker, or to be the kids the maze was made for.  It seems it’s something everyone revels in too.  We love the imperfect, and yet to value is to lift up.  When we look at a hero from some fantastic story he is either a saint, or she is the lowliest of humans, a simple non-individual or a demigod.  But to look at either we still raise them up, “look upon this one for—” their normality or superiority.

Ever thought we probably do the same to God?

            Today Gold dust was swirling on the ceilings of bethel. 

Today I worked all morning, took a nap, caught up on some computer stuff, and made a maze.

This is where I’m supposed to be emergent and tell you about true spirituality
 and how I did the same by my actions
and how God loves me because I’m so
compelled to justify my normal moral behavior
and lump it into time with God *in order to* kill two birds
with one stone the same way my iphone does.

I don’t have an iphone and, sorry Mr. Smith…

So I stood a moment in the family room, watching Redding California’s Christian-Costco, Crazytown, swirling in gold dust.  I saw the worship of hundreds singing in acapella and I knew.  If God were anywhere he’d be there.  I became ACUTELY aware that I simply was not there, that I was here, 2,000 miles away.  It’s easy to forget that on a little screen but for some reason that moment was clear, Bethel’s service was going on right then and there, and I was not there at all.

This is the point at which a charismatic is supposed
to tell you that they turned on their
Jason Upton and suddenly beamed into the service,
or said Shaba and then God appeared—or
an angel and it was better than any old service. 

But instead I kept watching Mad Men, because while I knew God was there, I knew He was also here.  I was here with Him. I’m not sure which one is better.

I used to feel left out with stuff like that.  How my ridiculous record for never being in the right place to see crazy signs of God haunt me.  They still do.  (I’m still pissed about it, by the way God…) But the difference simply came when God’s presents became separate from the amazing.  God was not in the fire/wind/earthquake, but he certainly caused it.  I can’t decide what’s more wonderful.  That God was swirling crazy weird gold dust at church OR he was sitting with me at the foot of my bed watching TV.  I can’t decide whether to revel in this human Christ or the Glorious God.  It is both the incredibly normal life that hosts the presents of God, and the God who is touching down in to normal life.  But I guess He’s in both.


  1. You seemed to be all excited via text that I commented...which I assume means that you checked on your phone and didn't actually read it. Which means once you read "applause" you will prob be disappointed. So i figured I better write a longer comment. And so I just did. ;p

  2. Actually I get the email which actually told me what you said, 'applause.' Which, apart from my wondering if you spelled it right the first go, I was just happy that 50% of my fan base read my new post. It was time, your time is precious, thus I am happy :)