I had heard of Rob Bell before. He was this cool pastor guy whose message of love was reaching beyond the confines of christianity. Oprah couldn’t say enough good things.
But It wasn’t until recently when I listened to the School of Greatness podcast that I learned the reason why Rob Bell is so successful: It’s simple. He doesn’t talk religion; he talks spirit.
Not only that, he’s relevant and real and preaches acceptance and compassion over anything. Word up!
I was intrigued. He had this upcoming tour. I wanted to go.
I forgot about it.
In Bali, Elisa mentioned that our ninja friend, Gabe, is good friends with Rob Bell. They surf together and he’s awesome, she relayed from Gabe.
Oh yeah, I wanted to go to that (second mention).
Later on in the week I overheard Gabe talking to his wife, “I got you tickets to Everything is Spiritual with Rob Bell.”
Apparently (third mention), I really need to go!
I got home. Life happened. I totally forgot.
Bell was in NYC Friday night.
Liz Gilbert’s FB post Saturday morning was the best ad ever (4th mention). And a kick to the gut.
Shit! I frickin forgot again!
I immediately got online and searched out closest cities and got Elisa and I tix for the Philadelphia show last night.
We were thrilled we made the trek. We–like Liz Gilbert, were blown away.
We’ve never read his books and didn’t know much about him, but we left with a lot of respect for what he does, and especially, how he does it.
He interwove science and mysticism and divinity and story and humor and poetry and pop culture and so much more into the set. It was 90 minutes of the best breakdown of evolution I’ve ever gotten.
AND … his thoughts on expansion and growth–personal, communal, universal–just. Made. Sense.
My favorite part was his metaphor on dark matter.
“96% of the universe is dark matter. Science can’t make sense of it. They just know it’s necessary. That life couldn’t exist without it. That growth would be impossible without it.”
… follow where this is going?
How much of our stuff is dark matter? Stuff we try to avoid, cover up, ignore?
He talked about the binary system of right or wrong that we are socialized to believe. Good and bad; success and failure. “And yet, each of our proudest moments or biggest accomplishments came in some shape or form out of the wrongs, the bads, the failures.”
So instead of pushing our darkness away, he says, perhaps seeing it for what it is: “necessary to our growth, we can embrace it, share our vulnerabilities and learn from each other and grow together and stronger as a community.”
We either expand and grow as the universe is begging us to do with it. Or we retreat and hide and cower in an idea of safety that is more isolating and dangerous than what we’ve imagined.
It’s up to us. But ultimately our intuition, that same voice that says, “I’m craving something more in this life” is the same force that’s been propelling the universe slowly but surely for 13.8 billion years.
We are greater than we will ever know, and have more support than we could ever truly understand. We come from the stuff of stars and the same force that keeps the planets aligned is the exact same force that breathes our fragile lungs.
And yet we still have doubt.
But it is the Rob Bell’s of this world who work to lessen that doubt each book, each event, each interview at a time.
I now know why I was so drawn to this event.
Everything IS spiritual!
I leave you with this: What message do you know you were meant to hear? When? I’d love to hear about it.