The Wonder of It All
“The world will never starve for want of wonders, but only for want of wonder.” G.K. Chesterton
This past weekend we took our youth from church to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. On Saturday we spent a number of hours at a tourist attraction called Wonder Works. Since it is housed in a gigantic upside down building I figured the whole thing would be hokey. I was wrong. Wonder Works is committed to exposing people to the wonders of nature and science in a fun, hands on, sort of way. I’m glad such places exist.
Studies have revealed that a child’s creativity, which includes wonder and imagination, diminishes by 90% between the ages of five and seven. When adults gets to be forty, they have only about 2% of the creativity they had when they were five years old. This is tragic for a number of reasons. For one, wonder lies at the heart of worship. For another, wonder adds much joy to life.
In his book Real Worship Warren Wiersbe writes, “True wonder reaches right into your heart and mind and shakes you up. It not only has depth, it has value; it enriches your life. It is an encounter with reality—with God—that brings awe to your heart. You are overwhelmed with an emotion that is a mixture of gratitude, adoration, reverence, fear—and love. You are not looking for explanations; you are lost in the wonder of God.”
Wiersbe goes on to note that wonder is born of knowledge, not ignorance. He says, “The more a truly reverent person knows about a flower or an insect or God, the more overwhelmed he is. …truths give to the reverent saint a burning heart, a thrilling encounter with God.”
I believe Dr. Wiersbe is on to something here. All of us need more wonder in our lives. It is, in fact, critical for our spiritual lives. And I know of few things that will move us toward wonder better than spending time in God’s Creation.
If you are experiencing a shortage of wonder and awe, now might be a good time to head to the mountains, the dessert, a river or lake, or some quiet spot outdoors closer to home. Or as Rob has reminded us from time to time, enjoy the wonders of your own back yard. Wherever you go, take in the wonder of it all and let your hearts be lifted in praise to the Maker of heaven and earth.
(I spotted the beech leaf pictured above hanging on to the ice on a rock across the street from my church office. It caused me to wonder…)