Looking out my window all I see is grey.
Grey streets, grey buildings, grey skies and a thin coating of grey dust on everything that was once not grey.
Maybe you can tell that cities are not my thing.
I used to live in a place where the only sounds at night were far-away yipping of coyotes and the occasional rustle from the friendly squirrel residing in my attic.
Now, the sound of traffic is my white noise and I don’t think I’ve experienced true quiet since I moved. Every night, our house lights up with the passing lights and sirens so often that if we wanted to have a rave, we wouldn’t even need to invest in lights.
All this to say, I don’t find the close-up, nitty-gritty of cities to be awe-inspiring.
All this to also say, I believe a human being who no longer feels wonder is lifeless.
Wonder is a noun and a verb, meaning:
(a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.)
(desire or be curious to know something.)
When we lose our sense of wonder, our delight, our curiosity, there is a switch within our souls that is turned off.
Sometimes, wonder takes work. It needs to be cultivated.
We were created to create, made to wonder, filled with ideas and inspiration. But these things do not always come easily. We can spend a lot of time in wonder-block, unsure of how to get unstuck.
So how do we nurture wonder within when our surroundings fail to spark it? How do we find joy and a hunger for living when everything around seems grey?
“Awake your Hearts”
This quote from Charles Spurgeon I find to be so convicting:
“If I did not praise and bless Christ my Lord, I should deserve to have my tongue torn out by its roots from my mouth. If I did not bless and magnify his name, I should deserve that every stone I tread on in the streets should rise up to curse my ingratitude, for I am a drowned debtor to the mercy of God – over head and ears – to infinite love and boundless compassion I am a debtor. Are you not the same? Then I charge you by the love of Christ, awake, awake your hearts now to magnify his glorious name.”
We are drowned debtors to the mercy of God.
O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure. Isaiah 25:1
If we can find no other reason to grow our wonder it should be this. Our surroundings start to not matter as much when we remember that our God is completely worthy of our praise, awe, curiosity, wonder and love. He has been faithful in our faithlessness, merciful and gracious, loving to us when we turn our backs.
I find that on the days I purposefully take time to thank God and praise him for simply who he is, my sense of wonder for things I encounter throughout the day is raised. The more connected we are with the Father the more we will start to see our surroundings and people through his eyes instead of our own.
Yet there is one ray of hope: his compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day. My soul claims the Lord as my inheritance; therefore I will hope in him. The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for him, to those who seek for him. It is good both to hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:21-22
I use the word reset an unbelievable amount.
Because I mess up an unbelievable amount.
And because God gives mercy in an unbelievable amount.
I believe the core of not only growing our wonder but also our resilience and faith is encompassed in this word. Throughout the day, our minds wander and get distracted, our worries creep in and we can quickly forget our purpose. By making the word reset as familiar as breathing, we can re-focus and re-align our hearts and minds upon God.
When we take time in the day to reset in the beauty and rest of Jesus, worries, to-do lists and distractions shrink in front of a majestic and merciful God.
This week, I pray that God works within you to restore your wonder and that you are not too distracted to respond. Take time to reset, take time to meditate on God’s word and simply stop to be with God throughout your day.