Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My own private elevator speech

In March 2014 millions of people around the world followed the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines 370. We asked, “How could a commercial aircraft with 239 people aboard simply disappear?”

Cognitive neuroscience says our fascination with such mysteries is found deep in our brains. From the age of one, starting with peekaboo, humans seek to make sense of what puzzles us. We crave what researchers call the “puzzle of reality” and we thrill to the “zap of pleasure” when a mystery is solved.

Though we never went to church, as a child I constantly wondered about the mystery of life and the existence of God. As a teenager I joined a church and was comforted by the caring people and the safety of a sure dogma. Then, in college, I stumbled into an Episcopal Church where mystery and faith instantly re-emerged. In the beauty of the prayerbook language, in the sense of community, in the welcome of questions and rigorous conversation on all facets of faith, I found a spiritual home.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good,” the psalmist urges. The Episcopal Church offers something else our brains demand: not only do we taste the bread and wine, but in worship we test each of our senses in turn and always in the company of others.

Taste and see. Allow your mind, heart, and soul to engage the mystery of life and the questions of faith. And perhaps you’ll find the Episcopal Church to be the perfect flavor.