Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Revelation Junkie

One of my Christmas dreams was fulfilled this year in the form of the Paper Source Art Grid calendar, a gift from my mom. I have wanted one for years, but as they cost $25 and don't go on sale after Christmas (or ever!) I have never bought one. Hurray for mothers everywhere who spoil us with precious little luxuries. It was a particularly wonderful present because the calendar I bought myself this summer is lost somewhere in my laundry room, never to be seen again.

As I was filling in appointments for the month of January on my pristine and beautiful grid, I noticed in red bold letters on January 6 the single word: EPIPHANY.

Well, that's groovy, I thought. Paper Source had determined that I shall have an epiphany on the first Friday in January. Knowing this wasn't really the case, I looked up Epiphany, which is actually a Christian holiday observed by various denominations throughout the world, celebrating the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. Western Christians celebrate it as the day that the Magi arrived in Bethlehem to meet Jesus, God incarnate; Eastern Christians observe it as the day of Jesus' baptism, revealing him as the Son of God.

Apparently, the word, with origins in Greek, literally means "manifestation" or "striking appearance." Not being a Greek scholar or an Orthodox Christian, I have always used the word epiphany in the common, American sense, as in a sudden understanding of the "bigger picture." I spoke with my friend Wendy on January 6 and told her my initial thought at seeing the word on my calendar. After a chuckle, we both agreed to have an epiphany that day.

Here's what mine was: you can't plan to have an epiphany. Like a revelation of God, a sudden flash of insight comes not at will, like summoning a genie, but when you are least expecting it. However, you can cultivate a spirit that is open to revelation, a mind that seeks understanding, and a soul that wants to find beauty and meaning in the world around you. An epiphany lifestyle if you will.

Being a word geek, I'm going to hit you with one more definition. Here's one of dictionary.com's meanings for epiphany:

a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

Hot dog! Did that definition strike a chord with me! This is what my blog is about: the flashes of insight that come while slogging through the homely tasks of family life. I say in my bio, at right, that I am a follower of muse (open to inspiration in creative pursuits), but perhaps it should say that I am a seeker of epiphanies. It's my favorite thing about God, the first thing I almost always thank him for: that he reveals truth to us, through his word, prayer, friends, children, nature. So I keep my eyes and ears open because I am an epiphany junkie. My girlfriend Tris once said something to the effect of, "Your revelations happen so frequently I don't expect all of them to stick."

It's true, they don't all stick. But I'm still watching for them. In a sink full of dirty dishes. In a board game played with my daughter. In a conversation with my neighbor. In a comment made by my brother. Even in the cream colored grid of my stylish new calendar. Join me on this expectant search for insight, won't you? It's an exciting way to live.

1 comment:

  1. i totally do my best to live an epiphany lifestyle, as you call it. eyes of my heart open as much as humanly possible. have you ever taken a spiritual gifts test? i bet you score high on "perceiver" (like i do, on this one: www.gifttest.org) which is the modern day word for the gift of prophecy. really, it's being able to perceive God's message in every day life and pass that on. that, my friend, is exactly what you do!