Maybe it is just me but I often get the sense that there is something just beyond my understanding or comprehension going on, not in a negative way, just a sense that there is more meaning to be grasped in a given moment or relationship than what I glean. It’s like sometimes I read a book and I can tell the author is saying something REALLY BIG and yet I cannot quite lay my hands on it.
I know this happens to my cats, at least in a sense. I see them often looking out our doors and windows, they were born in an outdoor cat colony but picked up at a very young age and since then have only gotten outside when someone holds a door open too long and the cats are feeling rambunctious. Despite this near total lack of familiarity when they spot a squirrel or bird, or any animal outside they get shaky, they get low, sometimes they offer a ridiculous sort of a growl, mostly they twitch uncontrollably. It seems pretty obvious to me that they would have little chance of catching any of these wild creatures, yet something deep within them stirs for more out of life and as much as they love their warm cozy sleep spots and their regular meals, treats, access to water and cuddles, their guts tell them there is more than meets the eye going on, they are made for something different. Evolution, of course, has built my cats into killers of birds and mice, powerful survivors, just as much as for cuddles.
I wonder if my sense of there being something just beyond me is like that—the result of some deeper truth I cannot fathom and yet respond to. I hope it is. I hope it is caused by biblical truths like I am fearfully and wonderful made, and meant for relationship with the Divine. As C.S. Lewis pointed out the fact that I get hungry means there is some way to be full that a full belly can only hint at, that I am meant for relationship with God, that we are meant to be in the presence of the Divine as well as one another and to dance together in love.
Of course, there is much to be said about the relationship of the imminent and the transcendent and if I am blessed then this “other element” I notice need not cause anxiety or stress as I strain to extract more where I sense it is to be found. My cats are held back by the humans in their lives who will not permit them to explore properly. I benefit from occasionally asking myself what or who holds me back, maybe that is a good question for you as well (hint: it is often me getting in my own way). Maybe it is something like my cats and you are well and truly restrained, but then again maybe not.
For me, I know that meditation, the humble acceptance of stillness, the quieting of the mind regardless of what is going on in my house, work, and relationships, permits me to get closer to the transcendent reality, even if I have yet to fully grasp at it. Maybe I never will. A part of courage is the willingness to set oneself towards a goal with the risk that one will never achieve the hoped for end. On the one hand meditation might be a bit like that for me, I may never quite get what I am looking for. On the other hand I am a christian and so my hope is neither in myself, my ability sit quietly, nor in meditation itself, but in Jesus of Nazareth. And so I plod along faithfully with a sense of hope and a small bit of courage as I await the breaking of the veil.
Onwards my friends, the journey isn’t over.