Thomas Merton says that “we know Him (God) in so far as we are known by Him.”
I experienced this connection with Spirit on occasion in my thirties in a humorous way. God apparently enjoys an occasional game of pool. The first time I experienced this connection, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, but it affected me deeply. The game started as it usually does, with the break. We play that we must call all our banks and combinations of balls used on the table to sink our intended shots. After the break, which is always a “smash and bash” for me, just spreading out the balls across the table, my opponent took his turn and sank four balls.
My next shot was a bank shot the full length of the table bringing the cues back to sink a ball in the corner pocket. As I viewed the shot and the sweet spot, my tinnitus disappeared, and my sight became truly blindered to blot out everything but the shot. As I pulled back on the stick to connect with the ball,I actually felt some restraint in my follow through of the shot limiting more than I would the power with which I connected with the cue ball. The shot was perfect and the leave for the subsequent shot was also spot on. This continued as I mouthed the calling of my shots right up to the 8 ball. As I ran the table, I felt a flush in my face. My opponent was silent up to that point, a bit dumbfounded, I suppose, as was I in retrospect. When he realized “I” was about to run the table, he came over and gave me a big Pat on the back of congratulations. Everything returned to normal, and I missed the 8 ball shot.
He then ran the rest of the table, which was more usual, and I just sat there wondering what had just happened. It happened a few more times over the next few years, and I really enjoyed being the observer of the pool game “I” was playing. I have experienced things like this in different ways during my life, but I always enjoyed the experience of God playing pool through me.
Today, much in the same way as my pool experience, I experience the same “presence” when I am in prayer. It is truly a humbling experience.