natural & miraculous (part 2)

On many occasions God has already given us what we need in how he’s made us and who he’s brought into our lives. I do believe there are moments when the out-of-the-ordinary (the supernatural) breaks through, something inexplicable beyond our ability or effort. But much of the time we’re living very ordinary, natural lives (which speaks the loudest about who we really are). And guess what? It’s okay. It’s good. It’s how God made us. There is this message in certain circles that one must live a perpetually supernatural, out-of-the-ordinary, radical life in every moment, at all times. While some may find this effortless, it can be exhausting for others who try to look like “that person” and be who they are not. It doesn’t work. It’s okay to be ordinary, earthy, grounded in the world, close to nature, fulfilled in physical existence, all as an expression of our faith. 

Some say (not always incorrectly) that we limit God, meaning we’re not open enough to the supernatural. I’ll turn this around. Sometimes we limit God, meaning we look for him only in the supernatural or non-ordinary when he is already so present, evident, and near everywhere else in our day to day, natural, earthy, ordinary human experience. As with many matters, it’s not either/or, but both/and. Yes, some of us could be more open to the supernatural. But some of us who come from contexts in which the supernatural was so heavily emphasized, having been told mainly or only to find God there, need permission to stop, take a breath, and try another way (or stop trying at all).  

The pressure’s off. Look for God in what’s right in front of you. Learn to trust how God has made you to live and think and feel and navigate the world. Learn to know God in simplicity, in the earthy and ordinary, in natural and very human ways. Stop “trying” and let the Presence of Love overflow as a spring from a mountainside which you did not create and from which you may freely drink. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve experienced that, when I stop trying so hard to encounter God in ways that no longer make sense, God keeps showing up anyway, often in the most earthy, natural, ordinary, mundane moments. Not as a rule, mind you, but as a gracious gift, all the while remembering: it’s already a miracle, all of it. It need not be out-of-the-ordinary to be a miracle. Sometimes, even often, the greatest gifts are those that speak to our human experience and physical existence in this very natural yet miraculous world.

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