The world will never starve for want of wonders;
But only for want of wonder.
This is the first post in a series on cultivating wonder,
both in ourselves and in our children.
Psalms 19:1 says,
“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
May this series of posts be a tool to reclaim wonder and awe and therefore
move us to praise and glorify the Lord who is in Heaven.
There are so many wonders around us, if only we will see them as such.
As I write this, I am sitting as I watch the sky turn its beautiful orange, pink, and lavender hues as the day comes to an end. Birds are singing their evening songs. My silly daughter just came on the deck with a rake held behind her back and proclaimed herself to be a peacock, and one of my boys is drawing up plans for a club house on our outside table with the last light of day.
In this moment I am overwhelmed by the beauty around me, and I am full.
God has blessed me and my family to live in a place that constantly reminds me of the beauty that is in creation. A little 6 acre piece of land in upstate South Carolina with a myriad of trees; my own little slice of heaven on Earth. God has also blessed me and my husband with 3 curious, creative, and hilarious children who have helped me to see the world anew.
The most common place things and experiences are rendered amazing in the eyes of a child. I remember watching my kids gaze at their first sunsets, marvel at their first snow fall, and enjoy their first tastes of ice cream. So many things that are easily taken for granted have been highlighted in a way that has deepened my appreciation for the common and ordinary, and has thus helped my sense of awe and wonder in the world grow as I watch my kids experience them.
One of my favorite stories from my daughter’s first years of life came as we drove home one night. The moon was completely full and with so much awe and joy she declared, “Look at the moon! It’s a circle! It’s so beautiful!” Something as ordinary as a full moon, which comes along every month, was the highlight of my little girl’s night!
It makes sense that kids are more in awe and captivated by wonder in this world as they are just beginning to see the wonders. But why is it that as we grow and become adults we are prone to lose our sense of wonder and awe? How can we look at a full moon and not be moved by the splendor? How can we not be amazed at the intricacies of a flower? How can we live day to day and not be in awe of the intellect and abilities God has given man to create great works of art, architecture, and technology?
Perhaps we have fleeting moments of recognition, but then we scurry on to the next important thing on our plate. I suppose it is easy to fall into the busyness of life, but when we are too busy I fear the chance to see all the wonder around us slips away. This series is an invitation for you to slow down and ponder the amazing things that God has placed around us in this world. His creation, though marred by sin, is lovely and full of wonder. I pray He will give us eyes to see His glory as we gaze upon the work of His hands.
Though this post is mainly an introduction, I do want to leave you with a little tool to help you in the effort to cultivate wonder. It’s simple, yet difficult too.
Recognize all the incredible and beautiful things in this world that are so wonderfully and perfectly made. Let the magnitude of it all make us feel small, but then move us to a place of wonder and gratitude for the moment.
Dale Ahlquist, a respected G.K. Chesterton scholar, says this of the need for humility in cultivating wonder:
“The key to happiness and the key to wonder is humility.… Humility means being small enough to see the greatness of something and to feel unworthy of it, and privileged to be able to enjoy it.”
Take time today to gaze at something that makes you feel small. The sunset, a storm, a big tree, a field of flowers, or even the amazing thing that is children running around! Breathe in the moment and let wonder fill you up! See the moment for the privilege that it is.
And then, give thanks. It is such a gift.
What things stir awe and wonder in your heart? How can you slow down today to cultivate wonder more in your life?