Brian McLaren, a teacher at the Center for Action and Contemplation, describes a mystical experience he had in his youth:
A few friends and I snuck away to a hillside and found ourselves sitting under one of those sparkling autumn night skies. I walked several paces away from my friends and lay back in the grass, fingers interlocked behind my head, looking up, feeling strangely quiet and at peace. Something began to happen.I had a similar experience as an adult lying out on the Kansas prairie one starry night a few years ago, with the sun setting on my left and a super-moon rising on my right, watching a million stars "begin" to shine. I was leading a retreat, and I came back from that hilltop knowing that everything is OK and all would go just fine. And it did. And I remember that experience often when I go "off the rails" with fear. Understanding is a powerful thing.
I had this feeling of being seen. Known. Named. Loved. By a Someone bigger than the sky that expanded above me. Young science geek that I was, I pictured myself lying on a little hill on a little continent on a little planet in a little solar system on the rim of a modest galaxy in a sea of billions of galaxies, and I felt that the great big Creator of the whole shebang was somehow noticing little, tiny me. It was as if the whole sky were an eye, and all space were a heart, and I was being targeted as a focal point for attention and love.
Ever so grateful for Something Bigger Than Me,