This week has been crazy. At work we are preparing for Open Enrollment, so that pretty much sucks up about 86% of my time and energy. The rest is spent staring out the window of our board room at the lake and thinking about life. There's a lot of life to think about.
It's funny because I feel like my brain has shut down because of the work I am doing...I am walking around a table collecting papers in order and then putting them into a pocket folder (one of which cut me under the fingernail...curses and dirty words) but my brain actually seems to be on over drive. Or maybe I am forcing it to keep working because I hate the kind of exhaustion that comes from not using your brain (I even counted how many holes I punched the other day...3,708 from three different documents - I did that math all in my head...)
It's kind of like when you go to the eye doctor and you get a new prescription. You saw the world just fine before but all of a sudden he's given you a new prescription and everything around you is crisp and clear. You see every leaf on the tree across the parking lot, every grain in the cement beneath your feet. It's incredible. That's kind of how I have felt this week. Random moments of this amazing clarity.
The best part is...it seems so frivolous when I get down to explaining it. I mean, you're expecting some pretty deep and heavy thoughts coming your way aren't you? The miracle of our existence is about to be unfolded to you, viewed through my eyes.
It started earlier this week as I was filling up my water bottle at work. I started to think about Snickerdoodles...yes, the cinnamon and sugar covered goodness - snickerdoodles. I started to think how someone, somewhere invented snickerdoodles. How in the world did they do that!? Who thought, "Let's put cream of tarter, flour, sugar, butter, and mix them all together...then we'll cover them in cinnamon and sugar." How did they know that they would taste so dang amazing? Where does 'cream of tarter' come from? From there my mind went nuts, I started to think of everything that way. Someone came up with that! Tissues! Hand lotion! Tape Dispensers!
I know that these things are trial and error, everything is trial and error (except penicillin, that was an accident...albeit a great accident). This life is trial and error - but someone believed in all of these things enough to keep trying until they got it right. Someone believed in snickerdoodles enough to keep trying until they got it right! Makes you appreciate snickerdoodles a little more I hope. ...All week I have had moments where I am just left in awe.
A few weeks ago we had a meeting for our Regional Committee (Come to the Harvest Ball on November 20th! - sorry, had to advertise) and Elder Butler was there. He asked a question I had heard several times. Are we mortal beings having spiritual experiences, or are we spiritual beings having mortal experiences?
Having heard the question before I had left it behind at the meeting. Then last night I met with the Bishop for tithing settlement, he had been in that same meeting with me and he said how he keeps thinking about it. He had never heard it before so it just blew his mind, he told me how he kept asking people that question to see what they would answer. It made me think that sometimes I take things for granted. Someone once said to me that you can't learn anything that you think you already know. I denied myself the chance to learn from that question because I had heard it before.
It all ties together. The Miracle of Snickerdoodles and the question of our experiences. It also goes with the documentary I participated in. Why do things happen? My original answer to them had been that all things happen for a reason, all things give us experience (something along those lines - it was cold, I was being forced to ramble coherently for 30 seconds...not easy on the fly). I stick with my original answer but now I incorporate it to the question. I believe that we are spiritual beings having a mortal experience, that's why things happen - we are having these mortal experiences, birth, death, trials, triumphs...everything happening with the distinct purpose of giving us experience, giving us an opportunity to learn something, to change our very natures, to become something more than we were before that "thing" happened.
So let me ask you the same questions and I hope you answer, but I'll understand it you don't:
- Why do things happen?
- Are we mortal beings having spiritual experiences or are we spiritual beings having a mortal experience?