The Gift of Wonder

In his book The Way of the Wolf, Martin Bell says,  "Only the little children know what they are looking for. They wander all along the streets and look beneath the cobblestones; and I have wandered also and wondered at the mystery..."

Bell observed his children and saw that despite their inexperience in life they possessed a bold inquisitiveness about the mystery of life. The willingness of children to approach things with a curious mind, to investigate things and to explore the world  with a purposeful attentiveness is a gift that is often lost in adulthood. Caught up in the demands of adult life we may dampen our willingness and ability to explore, to engage our imagination, or to move along unfamiliar streets. When we do this, we squelch our God-given wonder at the mystery of life.

Paradoxically, the more we know, the more competent we become as adults, the less we may know what we are looking for. Falling into well-worn patterns of life we may cease exploring and learning.  We may stop asking the question: What am I seeking? As a result, we may miss out on the majesty and exuberance of life.  When this happens, our life can become stale and predictable, secure but boring.

But there is good news.  We still carry an inquisitive child within us, even if we are 90 years old!  This child is worth our time and attention. The ability for purposeful wandering never leaves us even if we haven't done it for a long time.  When we use it, it becomes an exercise in the contemplation of the mysteries of God.

The next time you see a child, pay attention to what they are doing. Look at what they are seeing. Take in their response to new discoveries. Drink in the exuberance of their wandering. And then go out and mimic their point of view. Rediscover your world. Rediscover the mysteries of God.

Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3

Pastor Frank

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