Living with a Sense of Wonder
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” – Psalm 8
G. K. Chesterton, writing about the essential sense of wonder in the way a person sees all the bits of life said, “He had often maintained that the main object in a man’s life was to see a thing as though he has never seen it before.” But alas, we often move through life as though we are seeing things ad nauseam, so often without thoughtful curiosity, that the wonder of it all is lost in a strange and myopic boredom with life’s “sameness” or “routine”; the grandeur of God’s creation, the awe of life itself is completely missing in the monotonous pattern of living with life’s presumed pressures pressing the joy out of being. Is this what the Creator God envisioned for His marvelously made creatures in the midst of a grand universe over which you have been blessed by Him with dominion?
The beauty of King David’s words in Psalm 8 are focused on one thing; the awe and wonder in our environment to elicit personal praise of the One responsible for it, a praise and thanksgiving that not only befits us, but blesses us. Life is so beset by sin and the miserable affects of the fall, that these evil stains too often take precedence over the wonder and awe with which we should see Creation and our life within it. Yet the Psalms continually are expressing in song the marvel of our created being within the setting of a universe beyond our wildest dreams. It is so immense and defying description that language cannot capture it in mere words. David may come as close as possible in the praises of Psalm 8.
But the way in which we can participate personally with David is to take the time to delight in the work of the designer and maker and give to Him unceasing praise for what we observe and in which we can find great pleasure and joy; even to delight in a daisy, butterfly, robin, or fellow human being. Unfortunately, we are often drawn away from His handiwork to find pleasure in the deceptive substitutes of the evil one. Such eventually turn to filthy rags, while the genuine sources of wonder in the work of His hands is kept from sight, from a curious awe, and from the sheer delight which produces pure joy in the soul.
Such is the nature of sin; it destroys the wonder and awe with which you find great pleasure in the character and creative artistry of your Heavenly Father and His Son, who made all things. How much of your life must pass or go unrewarded before you find the wonder and awe with which to see what is always all around you? A world in which He has given you the capacity to wonder, delight in, perceive in awe, and give Him thanks. He is not keeping you from it! You are! Your sin steals the perspective with which you can see, truly see, the Creation in which He has placed you, your neighbor with whom to share it, your own company to revel in what you see, and think, conversing privately or publicly with Him.
Seek to see a tree today like you are seeing it for the first time, or another person, even a familiar friend, like you are seeing them for the first time. Wonder at the wonders of life with which your Father and your Redeemer have perfectly planned for your pleasure. Thanking Him will extol your own character and bring blessing where blessing is sorely needed.
“All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all. Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, he made their glowing colors, he made their tiny wings…He gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell, how great is God Almighty, who has made all things well. All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.”
(1st and 5th verse of Cecil Alexander’s hymn, “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” 1848)
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