Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church


From the Staff @ HIEC

In the Beginning was the "Flow"

Christopher Cole2This past weekend I had the joy of wandering up to Valle Crucis, North Carolina with 32 students and 4 chaperones from our parish for the annual EYC Ski Trip.  Over the course of the weekend participants shared in intimate fellowship, jubilant worship, and exhilarating skiing.  All the while juxtaposing these experiences with the weekend’s theme, “Experiencing the presence of God”, through which students were encouraged to seek how God’s presence was being manifested in their common experiences.

The weekend’s theme was derived from John’s gospel from which we hear, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  For the purposes of this weekend we viewed this verse from Holy Scripture in a new light, “In the beginning was the Flow, and the Flow was with God, and the Flow was God.” It is worth recognizing that for some this amendment of words might yield recoil, while for others it might yield wonder; these reactions beg the question, how does the use of language inhibit our ability to share our faith and how does it enhance our ability to share our faith?   

As it were, as students shredded down the mountain in their skis and snowboards, they were encouraged to engage the very “Flow” which their heightened senses allowed them to perceive.  While pushing the limits of speed and control, students were challenged to look beyond the fleeting moments of excitement and fun, to the threshold they toed in the deeper reality of their experience of “Flow”.  The reality where one’s thoughts and emotions subside to experiencing the oneness of all of creation, that comes with the Flow; a reality where in a moment’s time one transitions from being in the world to being part of the world.

The presence of God is easily found in moments of intense excitement and beauty - from the rising of the morning sun to its majestic setting; from gazing upwards towards the summit of a mountain to gazing from its peak across the endless expanse of the ocean, or perhaps pushing the limits of shredding down a snow filled mountain to stepping into a batters box with the bases loaded. 

In these moments we are faced with the stark reality that our being is merely a sliver of a larger reality that we participate in, a reality that transcends the temporal experiences of excitement and fun while at the same moment allowing us to touch the deepest fibers of our existence which connect us to that larger reality - an experience that can only be articulated with awe and joy.

The never-ending challenge that we are all faced with is touching the “Flow” outside of these moments of intense awareness and presence, in the ordinary and common realities of life. I wonder if society’s attention on life’s extraordinary aspects cause us to miss the glory of each breath that graces our lungs, of each hand that opens a door, of each smile that warms our heart?

During this season of Epiphany, how are you connecting with the “Flow”, how is God made manifest in your experience of the ordinary?