As a Christian apologist I frequently engage in dialogue with those who don’t see the world as I do. Sometimes I try to sit in their chair and imagine I am attempting to think new thoughts about God and miracles and transcendance in a fresh light and with an open mind. I can see how this might be very difficult. The reason may not have anything to do with logic or rationality. It may just be that “ordinary” is so much easier to manage for us mortals.
I look at the television and attractive people with nice vocabularies tell me what went on in Washington today. They allocated $50 billion dollars for this thing or that. The enormity of that much money is immediately filtered out by my coping mechanism. “I can’t change it, it doesn’t help to worry about it” becomes “it’s not real” so smoothly that I don’t even notice. Strange brown people in far away places are killing each other over who knows what and the news of it is barely powerful enough to hoist an eyebrow in thought. The mundane is not only the 6 miles between my house and my job, it is also the same 6 people I see every day, the same 6 websites that I visit daily, etc., etc., ……
I surf through the ridiculous number of channels on my TV and I see that the Science Channel has a special about distant galaxies. I click in to to hear that our old friend “light” which, incidentally is so stinking fast that you can never open the fridge door fast enough to catch it snoozing, takes a bazillion years to reach Alpha Whateveri. And that’s the nearest cosmological thingie to earth. This is taken in stride with barely a thought of its staggering implications.
Bottom line: We live in a world of wonder. To see a hummingbird hover or a season change is to be exposed to forces and realities that are so much bigger than us it is easy to forgive the pagan his idolatries. We are small and the world is big. The experience of the numenous requires that I look up from my “daily.” If I cannot even share the poet’s awe, how will I communicate, how will I convey a visitation of Majesty?