The Power and Joy of Epiphanies

June 21, 2013

I had a visit recently from my impossibly cute three-and-a-half-year old granddaughter. There was a newspaper folded up on a coffee table and she picked it up with pages tumbling out of the fold. She asked, “What is this grandpa?” I said “It is a newspaper.” She stared at it intently with a puzzled look on her face and proclaimed defiantly, “It is NOT a book!”

She continued to fiddle with it. Soon she discovered the center fold section and pulled out one of the two-sided pages. Her little arms held each side wide apart with the words displayed correctly from top to bottom and, after reflecting for a moment announced with a confident and proud smile, “This is a BIG book!” I said, “Yes, it is a different kind of book—a BIG book with soft pages. It is called a newspaper.” She beamed brightly at me with a satisfied look on her face as I confirmed her conclusion.

I had the rare pleasure of seeing my granddaughter experience an epiphany the instant she became aware of the similarity between the concept of “book” and concept of “newspaper.” Her epiphany created an enjoyable epiphany for me as I experienced her moment of learning and witnessed her young mind make a sudden leap to a new level of awareness. I imagined the joy in store for her as she would encounter many future epiphanies like this. This made me wonder, “Are epiphanies—sudden bursts of new awareness–what we secretly live for?”

I had been watching a football game on the TV while I was writing this peace. My gaze was suddenly jerked up from my computer screen when the TV screen screamed in loud approval at the majestic seemingly impossible one- handed catch of a 56-yard pass for a touchdown. That unanticipated catch was a minor epiphany—a sudden realization of exquisite poetry in motion, a moment of perfection that rarely happens in the rough and tumble game of professional football. That is why we all watch. We don’t know what will happen next and we can’t wait to see what will happen. We want to see what happens next in life. Without epiphanies of some sort, life becomes boring.

We all have versions of epiphanies, from religious awakenings to soulful love connections, innovative business ideas, artistic inspirations, scientific breakthroughs, including exquisite performance in sports. This argument can be extended to conclude that perhaps we all live to experience epiphanies.

Does God exist for Epiphanies on the very grandest scale of multiple universes?

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