I live on top of an enormous amount of trilobites.
You probably do too. Did you know. . . Cement is partly made of limestone, and limestone contains a whole lot of calcified trilobites? I didn’t, but it’s true.
The foundation of my house is made of an ancient world – a world where little beings with strange exoskeletons were once extremely abundant. They show up in the fossil record about 520 million years ago, and they went fully extinct 250 million years ago.
In addition to the foundation of my house, I used to work in a building that was made entirely of limestone. Who knew I was surrounded by trilobites the whole time? I didn’t.
I learned all of this recently on one of my favorite podcasts. It’s called Surprisingly Awesome. The hosts take a look at topics that are certainly seemingly boring – topics like concrete, mold, and flossing – and find ways to show that they’re actually pretty interesting. I love to walk around the gym and listen to this podcast. It gets my curiosity going.
I think the cultivation of curiosity is a spiritual practice. I’d also say that curiosity is a tremendous stress reliever. It’s helpful to be reminded that we live in a beautiful, intriguing world. That world is larger than us, and we really belong to it.
This weekend, I had the wonderful privilege to hear Diana Butler Bass speak. She is a religious historian, scholar, and theologian whose work I admire quite a bit. On Friday, she mentioned that sociological studies continue to reveal people in the U.S. are becoming increasingly less involved with institutional religious communities, but they also report having spiritual experiences of awe and wonder at the universe and the world around them.
Often, spirituality is taking shape in the midst of the world around us too.
How can you cultivate a spirituality of curiosity this week? What intrigues you?
I suppose we can find curiosity even in the mundane things. Even in boring, old cement.