One of the best ways to grow in your faith is to let the world and the life we live here speak to us. It can happen in church, but many times it’s something that happens in the daily busyness of life. It’s right in front of us every day, but we don’t “see” it. But in those moments our eyes are suddenly opened.
What is this experience? It’s called Wonder. Children have it all the time. Hopefully, you’ve had it too. It starts with a simple observation of life around us and leads to a “moment” where we experience the sheer beauty or power or mystery contained in what we are observing.
Words sort of fail us. We can’t describe what we’ve heard or seen. But we know what it feels like. It feels like we’re in the presence of a masterpiece, something exquisite to overwhelm us with beauty or emotion or truth or mystery.
But what’s best about these moments (the wonder part) is the question left hanging in the air: “WHERE did this come from?!” or perhaps more accurately, “Who DID this?!” and “Why does it effect me so deeply?!” It’s God silly . . . trying to get your attention.
Any one of these can be an occasion for wonder:
- The ocean, the waves, the horizon
- Seagulls riding a lake breeze
- The folds and color of a rose
- A baby’s smell
- The eyes of a child
- The full moon on new snow
- The rushing wind
- A lover’s first “I love you”
- Hearing “I love you” back
- A base hit in little league
- The day you could finally ride a bike
- Sitting on your dad’s lap, playing with his giant fingers
- Really hearing a great piece of music
- Sitting in an empty cathedral.
- Tears upon finishing some effort that took everything you had
- Burying a parent
- Holding a grandchild
- Winning a game in triple overtime
- Losing a game in triple overtime
- Watching the snow fall
- Counting the stars at night
(What would you add for your wonderments . . . . ?)
Moments of wonder can open a window through which we catch a glimpse of a world filled with a beauty and mystery that far surpasses our ability to fully understand it. Yet it will not let us leave that place without whispering to us . . . “See that? Did you like that? . . . It’s only a shadow of my love for you.”
Read psalm 139 for a beautiful moment of wonder. It all leads to a surrender to faith . . . “Oh Lord, How great you are. Thank you for letting me live and have my being. Thank you for letting me see/feel this moment”
I hope you take time this Christmas Season to experience the beauty of this world and of our lives as human beings. Don’t try too hard though.
Just let the moment be what it wants to be in you.
Remember God loves you and made this world for all of us.
“We constantly need to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends upon it.”
(Pope Francis, MV.2)