2016: The Year of Wonder
I wonder what it would be like...
If the simplistic beauty of a sunflower gave me the same giddy feeling it did when I was a child.
If a thunderstorm spurred the same sensation of majesty as it did when my 8-year-old self would hide under my covers to escape the noise.
If I looked at my parents the way I looked at superheroes in the movies; as if everything they did were awe-inspiring and powerful.
If we let go of the Friday’s and the Monday’s, the planners and the excel sheets, the expectations and the control. What if we stopped letting our emotions, our bank account and our GPA play Puppet Master with our souls.
What if “wonder” wasn’t just a word we used when we thought about what could be? What if the verb flipped to a noun, and “wonder” once again became the way we saw creation? What if the beauty of the world was reigned by reverence and not by the images of social media.
If you want a sense of the kind of wonder I’m talking about, watch this video about Wondercamping.
Trust me, it’s worth it.
Our world has lost its sense of wonder. The shock and awe of a mountain scape that once brought people to their knees has been edited, stretched, cropped, filtered, and pasted onto every Instagram feed. We grew up. Our technology grew up, too, and suddenly, we don’t need to be amazed by creation. After all, humans “create” new things every day. And the next big thing will be enough, right?
I wonder what would happen if we chose to STOP.
STOPPED and asked Jesus to reveal Himself.
“Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.”
Jesus is knocking at our front door, asking us to come with Him, and leave these things behind - to join Him in wonder and in reverence. The way I see it, there are three ways in which we can prepare our hearts to follow Him fully.
Yes, we all know the drill, consider others better than yourself, love your neighbor as yourself and, of course, the Golden Rule.
It’s been engrained in our subconscious since elementary school. But how often is loving others actually about ourselves? If we are nice, others like us. If we listen to others, they trust us. If we do the right thing, our reputation remains intact.
How can we expect Jesus to show Himself in big ways if we are too absorbed in self-satisfaction to watch Him paint the sky?
We need something beside ourselves. We need wonder in a great God.
So give it up. Make it about Jesus. After all, He’s our love just as He is our strength. Apart from Him, we can do nothing and love no one.
Brennan Manning says is perfectly in his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel:
“We get so preoccupied with ourselves, the words we speak, the plans and projects we conceive that we become immune to the glory of creation.”
Somewhere along the line, we began to cling on for survival instead of resting in the wonder of The Lord. Somewhere in our sickness we became immune to the solution.
So how do we fix it?
That’s the beauty of it. We don’t have to do anything! We wave the white flag and surrender, leaving Jesus to do what He does best: compose our lifelong adventure alongside Him. In fact, He does it constantly, despite our best efforts to prove Him wrong. (Spoiler alert: Jesus always wins).
Uncertainty. I don’t like it. I mean, I really don’t like it.
I love to be in the know. Surprises terrify me. I read the last chapter of the book first. And yes, I always read the spoilers during the premiere episode of the season. The knowledge of what is to come is the thing that is hardest to let go of.
Uncertainty shapes the way we see God and causes us to doubt His goodness. But Jesus promises that there are some things too wonderful to understand.
“You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”
We must become certain of our faith and leave uncertainty at the door. Don’t worry, our pride and preoccupations will keep it company.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and certain about what we do not see.”
This year, let’s put aside the fad and the extra 10 pounds you’re hoping to shed, at least to be still long enough to let wonder reenter our world.
Let 2016 be the Year of Wonder.
From our fascination with ourselves,
From our desire to manage all that rests in Your hands,
From our human nature to doubt,
We stand in reverence of You, Jesus!
We stand in awe of You, Jesus!
Thank you for loving us in such a way that You desire our wonder.
-Erin Cosgrove // @e_coz