That Was Weird

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
— Isaiah 55:8

God is really, really strange. Sometimes, my encounters with Divine can be like attending the mad tea party in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

But I've come to think of these moments as sacred spaces where I get to encounter God in all of her wild, unpredictable beauty.  Idolatry, I realize, is the taming of the Divine. With all our dogmas, doctrines, and rituals, we tend to take the strangeness out of God so that God becomes predictable, domesticated, and boring.

By recognizing and pondering the strangeness of God, we realize that the universe is so much more than we can possibly comprehend or imagine. We realize that God is not something we can control, but someone we abandon ourselves to.

  1. Begin by centering yourself. You may want to focus on a brief mantra, your breathing, or a sacred object. Whatever your focus, let your mind and body become calm and still. Remember that you are in the presence of the Divine.
  2. Pray for freedom. This is an important step. Without freedom, you might easily dismiss the wonder and beauty of the weirdness you encounter. Repeat this prayer until you feel light, fresh, and free: I am yours. Do with me what you will.
  3. Recall a weird moment. What made this moment weird? Was it unexpected? Absurd? How did you feel in this moment of strangeness? Were you confused? Frightened? Intrigued?
  4. How does your perspective change? Does this weird moment challenge your current perspective on the world, yourself, or your relationships? How do you respond to this challenge? Does this moment open up a new horizon to you? If so, what do you see in this new horizon? Be specific.
  5. How do you experience the Divine in this weird moment? Do you feel drawn toward the divine? This movement might be characterized by feelings of joy, peace, tranquility, kindness, and gentleness. Do you feel distant? This counter-movement might be  characterized by feelings of anxiety, fear, craving, or anger. Do not judge these movements or counter-movements. Rather, simply recognize them and name them.
  6. What invitation might this weird moment be offering you? Does it point out an area in you might need to change? How will you respond to this invitation?
  7. Close with a prayer. A simple Amen will do perfectly.