I had planned to write this post right before Doah ran smack into his current tribulation, so it got shelved in the wake of that trauma. We are now coming back to life, and so I thought it was time to share this rather unique experience, unique for me, anyway. The experience is a couple of weeks old now, had never happened to me before, and is still as fresh in my memory as if it happened only last night. As for the meaning, reason, or purpose of what happened, I have absolutely no idea. I will let you judge that. Personally, I think it was just a gift. At least, I accepted it as a gift because it was such an especially pleasant experience.
A couple of weeks ago, Donnie and I decided to go to the theater -- a very infrequent activity for us -- to watch the raved-about Inception, which did turn out to be an interesting and entertaining movie. Donnie bought the typical snack foods; I picked up a hot dog because I had not had a chance to eat earlier that day. I added to that order an icee. That was my nourishment for the day -- perhaps not the best, but at least not the worst that I could have chosen.
We settled into our seats, which were the best in the house. That was not a surprise since there were only a handful of people there, an unfortunate sign of our difficult economic times. The trailers of upcoming movies played through, and Inception started. By then, I had already finished my meal. I had been hungry enough to gulp down the icee and finish the hot dogs in three bites. I put down the empty containers and prepared to watch the movie.
As the movie progressed, I realized that I was only half-watching. For some reason, the longer I sat there, the stronger the presence of God became until, in spite of all the ambient noise around me, the movie by that time fuzzing out and turning into semi-ambient noise although I was following the plot. It seemed like we had a third person in the theater with us, and it remained that way throughout. It was the loveliest, most comforting feeling.
Although movies of this type usually get my adrenaline rushing, as they are meant to do, I felt nothing of the sort with this one. The longer I sat there together with God, the calmer I became even as the suspense and action in the movie was reaching a crescendo.
When we left the theater, I was very relaxed and calm, almost in a stupor. Like in the case of contemplative prayer, with which this experience had much in common, I did not want to leave, but, of course, I had to. The emotion of the experience remains with me, though. It was as if I was in two places at the same time, doing two things at the same time. It was contemplation (this sitting together with God) and action (the thrills of the movie) at the same time.
For me, the experience underscored that God is always with me; just sometimes I can sense God's presence more than other times. Perhaps it was meant to be a lesson to always have that in mind and now that even in the busiest moment I can communicate with God if I want to. Or perhaps it was simply a gift. I like to think that God just wants to give me a present of Himself upon occasion.
What do you think? Have you had similar experiences?