It’s a beautiful autumn afternoon in Australia. The sky, piercing blue, framed by the green of the nearby trees, forms a canvas for streaking, thin white clouds.

I look up, mesmerised.

Lately, I am using the words ‘All That Is’ rather than the word ‘God’. As I write this, I realise the wisdom of the ancient Jewish people who felt the name ‘God’ was too awesome to use.

Later, when Jesus came along, he talked about his relationship with God as being intensely personal and loving. He said we could have that relationship too.

When you think about it, all that we know, be, and are, is a construct of our ‘mind’. So it makes sense that the infinite and the personal are intensely entwined. ‘All That Is’ impinges on my mind just as much as my intensely personal feelings, memories, words and actions.

It seems to me in this age where we are constantly being bombarded with ‘stuff’. This keeps us distracted and thereby thinking small.

We rarely look up outside of ourselves. This means most of us don’t take time to stop and ponder the bigger picture. We are locked in an economy rather than a community. Regarded as consumers rather than individuals. And are encouraged to look for entertainment, gambling and advertising to distract us.

We’ve lost sight of the bigger picture.

As the sun streamed down on me and I felt the cool breeze, for a moment in time I was lifted to a higher plane.

Up until this present time, that higher plane, and awareness of the awesomeness into which we were born, was expressed in many different ways. Nowadays, in the rational world we live in, we don’t have the words for that feeling. It’s the stuff of poets, artists and musicians and it leads us to a space many of us don’t know how to deal with.

We all rejoice when a baby is born, and we know it’s more than just a birth. We feel sad when loved ones die but we don’t have a higher plane to lift these feelings into.

Now, I’m not saying everyone in the past felt all this. What I am saying is: We in society had ways to express it. Often we went along with the words and we interpreted them in our own way but the space in our lives was there for this.

This Easter many people won’t know what to do with the space that is offered to us.

Yet the wind that blows on our face and calls to us.

I am learning more and more, and more, that at the very core of life, at the very heart of ‘All That Is’, there is a mystery. I tend to want to say a ‘question mark’ but that makes it too concrete.

This morning I stood near a railway line and watched as it snaked through the trees, into the distance. The further I looked, the more hazy that railway line became until it vanished into the great expansive horizon. I couldn’t help thinking life was that. A train slowly becoming visible, approaching from the horizon, was like the child being born. And the train moving away into the horizon, was like life as it ends. It’s not really a question mark but a sense of wonder.

The more I realise I as a human being am imponderable, the more I realize life itself is like that too.

Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God. The Buddha talks about the Nirvana in the Now. Mohammed saw social order as coming from God. All these civilizations have created societies that in this day and age are beginning to blend naturally sometimes with much agitation.

In 2021 we are all moving forward. So many of us have rejected much of our religious and spiritual traditions. It’s left us searching for more, yet we don’t know where to look.

The one human thing that we know that pushes us into a new paradigm is loving compassion. Caring and loving for one another, lifts us out of ourselves into another realm.

It’s my feeling that it is this realm that we are lifted into when we look up to the sky, feel the sun upon us and the wind on our cheeks. The realm that fills us with a magical sense of awe.

About the Author: Bill Crews

Rev. Bill Crews AM is a much-loved Australian who's given over 3 million meals to the hungry and taught thousands of underprivileged kids to read. He's been recognised by The Rotary Foundation and Ernst & Young. He is on the National Trust’s list of 100 “National Living Treasures”.