This week I have had a religious experience.
Well sort of.
My work took me deep into the backblocks to a monastery where the roof of the chapel needed attention from my company.
It would be fair to say my experience in all things religious is, like many I'm sure, confined to the odd church wedding or funeral.
That's not to say I don't believe in the big fellow upstairs - I'm actually rather hoping I get to meet Him one day rather than that other bloke.
I'm just hoping He likes a good laugh. I think an eternity without a good joke would be, well, a very long time indeed.
But after what happened to me the other day I am feeling a lot more confident He will have me in stitches.
Let me explain.
So I'm at the monastery and it is literally Heavenly. Beautiful location. Peacefulness personified. Seemingly deserted.
Sun streaming through a clear blue morning sky. And I'm up on the roof of the chapel.
The scene was such that I felt obliged to take a moment to sit and soak in all that was on offer. And so I did.
It was then my spiritual side was given a jolt.
From nowhere came the sound of angels. Think one of those old Charlton Heston movies where he looks at the clouds and background singers leave you with no doubt that he's getting a call from God above.
I kid you not, there was nobody around and I had no idea where the heavenly voices I was hearing in this most Heaven-like of locations were coming from.
The absurdity of the situation appealed to me and I started to laugh. After all, they do say God moves in mysterious ways, don't they?
Eventually, I worked out the noise, and I feel bad for describing it as thus because it really was quite pleasant, was coming from below my feet, within the chapel, where the residents of the monastery were singing and welcoming the day ahead.
As I made the long haul home later, I got to thinking about other religious experiences I had had over the years.
Like back in the South Island many years ago when as a young tacker I played football against a team of mainly Catholic priests of varying ages and abilities.
Every so often I would be pitted against a young priest who I recall being particularly nimble as well as extremely polite. Until he got on the football field that is.
Father Ferocious, as I like to call him, had a habit of sprinting alongside you in the chase for the ball while muttering expletives. And when I say expletives I mean full-on four-letter stuff that would make your average hard-as-nails miner blush.
When I think about it now, it must have been a tactic to throw me off my game.
It certainly worked on those first few occasions and he beat me to the ball constantly as I lost concentration while trying to work out what on earth was going on.
I would meet him in town occasionally and he would be a completely different person.
A friendly handshake and butter-wouldn't-melt demeanour. But come Saturday, white line fever would take over again.
He was, I gather, one of the newer breed of priests and perhaps connected with his flock on a more down-to-earth basis than many of his older predecessors.
He wasn't the only person of the cloth, so to speak, who I have encountered over the years whose time I enjoyed immensely.
Back in the day when arthritis in the knees was on the distant horizon, I would assist a local service club my dad belonged to with painting at a convent.
Among our workforce on many an occasion, we had a bloke I can only describe as Big Bore.
He was the one guy in the group who would just say inappropriate things all the time in the wrong setting. Loudly. I'm sure you know the kind.
On this particular weekend, I was up the ladder painting a wall and far below me, I could hear Big Bore throwing religious jokes around like the paint he was splattering all over the place.
The "humour-him" nervous laughter of his workmates gradually subsided as he just went on and on. Embarrassment hung in the air as nuns of various ranking wondered past.
Eventually, everyone had had enough and we just wanted it to stop.
Perhaps sensing this, Sister Supreme, the quintessential tiny little nun who had obviously heard it all before, arrived on the scene offering to make us all a cup of tea.
I cringe now as I recall the booming voice of Big Bore.
"I suppose it will be made with holy water," he laughed.
"Of course," said Sister Supreme calmly. "Do you want to know how we make it?"
Big Bore nodded and then just stood there open-mouthed at her response as the rest of us fell about laughing.
"We put it in a kettle and boil the Hell out of it."