Whatever Happened to Wonder?

Is wonder a lost trait in our society?  Was it banned?  The good news is wonder is still out there – it never went away.  Today people don’t aspire to wonder.  After all, one can’t make a profession out of it but it’s free. 

The dictionary describes wonder as a noun meaning “a cause of astonishment or admiration.”  Is wonder an inherent quality?  Is it learned?  How does one develop a capacity for wonder?

I read the story of an American soldier who was stationed in Iraq.  One can just imagine the simmering chaotic cauldron of tribal religious hatreds, and the fearful violence that surrounded him. What did he do in his free time?  He wrote a book on rare birds in Iraq.  This man was a birder by avocation.  Wonder was practiced in a violent environment.

Wonder is seeing the world in a different way.  So much of our lives are caught up in everything that can be explained away or programmed in steps.  Schools and universities test students encouraging them for future undertakings. Wonder is often pushed to the background.   We live in a society where people get nervous with too much silence and living with a sense of mystery is not recommended. 

It’s all a matter of being willing to see other worlds within your known world.  Wonder can still be discovered in a world of demands and responsibilities.  There is more to life than work.  There is more to life than meeting deadlines.  Where is wonder unfolding before you?

In the smile of a child?  In an act of forgiveness?  A walk in a city park?  It may be a sentence from a novel that clings day after day.  In a faith that leads through the day? A growing tree?  Wonder is reality seen through new eyes and hearing hearts.

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?”  Psalm 8:3-4 

-Dan Schmiechen  

Scripture Readings for October 18-24

October 18 Sunday   Luke 10:1-2, 17-20
October 19 Monday Matthew 11:16-24
October 20 Tuesday  Matthew 11:25-30
October 21     Wednesday      Matthew 12:1-14        
October 22     Thursday          Matthew 12:15-21       
October 23 Friday Matthew 12:22-32
October 24 Saturday Matthew 12:33-42

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