Living in Awe and Wonder
When I was a kid, I remember living with a sense of awe and wonder. There were so many new experiences that just set every part of me on fire: the first time walking into a Toys R Us, the first time flying on a plane, the first time seeing the skyscrapers in New York City. From birth to about age sixteen (right after getting comfortable driving) life was packed with new experiences, new feelings, and a sense of awe and wonder at all the world had to offer.
As time moved on, those moments became fewer and farther apart. The consistent wonder of life was becoming less frequent. Things like my marriage, the birth of my daughter and then the birth of my son, were the greatest moments of my life full, but they were highlights. The steadfast flow of wonder moments was almost non-existent. I guess they call that growing up.
But then something funny started to happen after my first was born. I began to see the world again but through her eyes! She was experiencing everything for the first time and I could see the awe and wonder she had towards everything around her.
It was my beautiful daughter who made me made me pause and reflect. What happened to my wonder? Why did it just fade away?
As I thought about these questions, I knew there was more to it than just “growing up.” Today I am over connected and constantly catching up to the fast-paced changes. I am constantly being hit over the head by the next big thing. I find anything I want at any time on T.V. or online. While the connection and the information are great, it really impacts my ability to stay focused. I become so concerned with “what’s next” that is causing the “what’s now” to lose significance. It loses meaning. I may be entertained or transfixed for the moment, but that moment passes so quickly. I am being conditioned to “move on” and that includes our childlike sense of awe and wonder. When everything is billed as special then nothing really seems special anymore.
The biggest scientific discoveries, the storm of the century, the marriage of the year, they are all victims of the 24-hour news cycle and the next biggest, strongest, more photogenic thing. When everything is billed as special then nothing really seems special anymore.
These newfound revelations in mind begged the next question. Why does it matter? Who cares if I lose the awe and wonder of life? Is it really that important?
And my conclusion is that yes. I think it does matter.
I believe that losing this wonder has a direct impact on the hardening of our hearts. I truly feel without awe and wonder we become more abrasive as people, more prone to anger and start tearing down those who seem to still have that sense of awe and wonder in their life. Society calls them silly, delusional and childish.
So how do we get that feeling back?
Well, I started at the beginning, the original provider of awe and wonder. I went back The Word.
- Genesis 1:1, The God who created the heavens and the Earth is MY father! Is YOUR Father. Is the father of us ALL.
- Psalms 19:1 Everything is proof of God’s power.
I started looking at the world through this lens. With every sunrise and sunset, every time my children laugh, and every time my wife smiles. I try to remember “this is by my Father’s hand.”
What is even more awe-inspiring is with all that my (our) Father has created; from keeping the entire universe in motion to the tiniest atom. He still cares to look after and know me (us) personally. So much so that He sent his only Son to die so that I (we) could be with Him always! Jesus Himself made reference to this in the Book of Matthew 6:26 and Matthew 10:29-30. That is the most awe-inspiring thing I can think of. It instills such a sense of awe and wonder in my soul. The Creator of the universe, God, my (our) Father has a personal, concerned love of me (us). Of all His creations, I (we) am the most cherished.
I have learned that a sense of awe and wonder changes my perspective daily. Things are brighter and life just screams out in color and glory. His glory! I know it is hard to hold on to that feeling these days. It is easy to let it slip away, as I did. It takes conscious effort to hold on to that feeling of wonder and a conscious effort to choose to draw near to the Father.
I have something I do that I want to share with you. This is something I do during the hard times, the days when I feel my awe and wonder waning. I encourage you to give it a try (at least once). Ready…
- Go outside when you can see the stars.
- Look up and just be still.
- Think of how vast the universe is, how distant those stars are.
- Think of how awesome and powerful the Creator of all that must be.
- Really think about how massive the universe is.
At some point, you will start to think how small you are, how insignificant you believe yourself to be in comparison to the entire universe (for some reason it always happens and that is ok!). Right when you feel that weight in the pit of your stomach…… smile.
Smile and think that the One who created all of that vastness, your Father, put you above it all. You are not small or insignificant. You are loved by your Father. Be amazed and thankful for that love. Hold on to that feeling. That feeling of awe and wonder that comes from the unyielding love your Father has for you. Hold on to that feeling, that truth that you are personally loved by the Father who created the heavens and the earth and use that every day to keep living in a sense of awe and wonder!
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands……..O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the Earth!” Psalms 8:3-9