Wonder is a gift of God which leads to Thanksgiving
“ . . .Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
My youngest daughter delights in her world and often the things that induce wonder in her startle me.
A few months ago I was peeling back the plastic film atop a brand new container of yogurt when a long Ooooooh! spilled out from her. “Isn’t it beautiful, mom?! The top of the yogurt is so smooth and shiny and new!” I stifled a laugh and took a contemplative look at the pristine surface. And, you know, there is something beautiful about a fresh undisturbed container of yogurt!
When she notices things like that it makes me wonder how much wonder I miss out on.
There are countless simple and not so simple little things tucked into the everyday that are huge gifts. But because we see them through the same eyes in the same routine over and over we can overlook them. Perhaps our eyes have been flooded with ugliness and our sight for the wonderful has been blurred with cynicism and tears.
But wonder is important for the children of God. When we take the time to look through wonder-filled eyes at God’s world, His people, and His word, it can rouse in us a sense of gratitude which can lead to thanksgiving and praise to the Giver of all good things.
What are some ways you might cultivate wonder today? You could let a small child lead you through their world for even 15 minutes and notice what they notice; share in their delight. Watch a science video on YouTube. Take moments to pause wherever you are and use your five senses to observe your surroundings. Let yourself linger in the enjoyment of what you discover and offer a prayer of thanks before moving on.
Gracious God, restore in us the wonder befitting your children. Let our eyes become keen to your wonder-filled gifts all around us that we might overflow with thanksgiving and praise. Amen.
It brings to mind the innocence of a child; something sweet and naïve and often something lost.
It invites mystery and raises questions. It opens our closed boxes of certain answers and releases us to reach into what we cannot yet see or comprehend.
It’s the beginning of discovery, the threshold of revelation.
It expands the heart and gives space for the Creator of the Universe; the One who cannot fit into even our most biblical theology.
Perhaps it feels threatening to dare to hover above what feels safe, what feels practical, what we think we can grasp. What if it awakens desires we do not wish to disappoint? What if it takes us into deep waters?
But what if it is an essential quality of our faith, something to be nurtured and protected?
What if we can only recognize God’s appearances in our daily life if we are open to wonder?
What if we can only enjoy the Wonderful as fully as we are wonder-filled?
Several years ago, Jennifer Brukiewa set aside her professional stage career and gig as a Disney World actress/singer to pour into the lives of teens working alongside her husband in youth ministry. Currently, as a retreat leader and Certified Spiritual Director, she is honored to create safe places for others to share their stories, joys and struggles and explore with them ways to listen for the heartbeat of God and “breathe the gospel” in their day to day life. She loves to garden, art journal, and admits to being slightly addicted to the BBC show Dr Who. Her home is in Elbert, CO where she lives with 1 dog, 3 cats, 14 chickens, 1 hermit crab, 2 rats, 3 daughters (15, 12 and 8) and her incredible husband of 22 years. She and her family have been members of Holy Cross Lutheran Church since 2007. To learn more about her ministry in Spiritual Direction go to www.attendinggrace.com