Sometimes, in the midst of a timeless, eternal experience, I catch myself thinking about things utterly modern and earthly. I might be in the middle of a heartbreakingly beautiful service at our Cathedral. I might be in the mountains, marveling at the majesty surrounding me. And suddenly, I would start thinking about something violently unrelated to this thin place or a thin experience. Sadly, my mind has a propensity to gravitate towards earthly matters.

It might be something legitimately important such as prominent and seemingly insurmountable problems facing our society. And yet, right now, it is immeasurably more important for my heart, soul and mind to disconnect from whatever is useful, immediate, urgent, worldly. What I need is to walk through this portal of beauty and allow myself to be immersed in this meaning, loveliness, thinness. I need to leave behind the modern world with its bound to earth problems – and give myself fully to the timeless, to the eternal.

This beauty, this mystery is our center of gravity, our core, our sustenance. And it is our ability to immerse ourselves fully in these cleansing, soul-feeding experiences that allows us to come back to our earthly pursuits and problems – and to wrestle with them with strength and even, dare I say, joy.