Are You Filled With Wonder?
When I read a quote from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, I was floored… and launched. It resonated deeply, it helped me see life in a new way:
“Never once in my life did I ask God for success or wisdom or power or fame. I asked for wonder, and he gave it to me.”
Wonder… it’s not that the word has gotten a bad rap… it’s that it’s gotten a cheapened one. We say, “I wonder if the gas prices are going to go up?” or “I wonder if my boss will be in a good mood today?” I say those types of things too…. But let’s not forget the deeper, richer, more beautiful meaning. Glorious wonder is being filled with a sense of awe and surprise! It’s being a person who is alive to beauty – a person who is filled with wonder sees the beautiful light that is all around them and that in turn turns on a light inside them… they are open to and excited about the unfamiliar, unexpected, or inexplicable. Does that mean they are always happy? No. But it does mean they have an eye for things to be thankful for, no matter what the circumstances.
If you find your faith, and perhaps your worship feeling a bit tired, perhaps it’s time to try a new view of the world? Will you join me as I dare and try to see the world as God’s art gallery?
Over and over the Psalmists say this or something along the lines of:
“How marvelous are your works!”
Sometimes I just silently say to God, “Ah! Well done!” I distinctly remember driving down the famous Highway One in Big Sur and seeing the crashing together of the redwoods and the ocean and the rolling hills and the outcroppings of rocks and being overwhelmed to the point that all I could utter was, “God… wow, great job…really….you did something special here.” I wonder if God has special places He loves most. Like, “Man… that jungle… I really outdid myself there… 576 species of just different kinds of butterflies?! Ha! That’s awesome.” Or maybe there are places that we haven’t even discovered yet and God looks at that place and thinks, “wait till those humans see this!”?
Sister Joan Chittister said, “Contemplation comes down to seeing the world as God sees the world.”
You can just look at something and appreciate it and just know that in the back of your mind you are aiming that appreciation at God… some might even call that prayer.
Do you have eyes to see? To be filled with awe…to be filled with wonder? Everywhere you look, there is something you can appreciate. A tree with beautiful pink leaves (I’m looking at one outside the door of this coffee shop I’m in. It’s wonder-ful!)? Do you have kids? Have you seen a rainbow? Have you eaten a really good meal lately? Have you smelled the freshness of rain? Do you have breath in your lungs?!
God is speaking. God is painting. God is showing you His creativity in His creation.
Be filled with awe; be filled with wonder! And may you connect with God and appreciate His works (and in so doing) praise Him in a new and fresh way.
Josh is a husband, father, pastor, and aspiring laundromat missionary. He is incredibly curious about the way people connect with each other and with God.