17 Feb Wonder
If you have yet to see the movie, Wonder, I recommend it. It’s as much a story of pain, fear and shame as it is a tale of triumph, unity and glory. Mostly, it’s a declaration. It declares love to be stronger than hate, kindness the better way, and our uniqueness the secret to our beauty.
Even before I saw the movie, its title had been on my mind. A facilitator at a workshop I attended asked us to choose a focus word for 2018. I chose Wonder.
I’ve spent much of my life wondering. Wondering if I was good enough. Wondering if I would make it. Wondering what would happen. Wondering why I did this or that. All that wondering was self- focused, underscoring my limitations and insecurities. It compelled me to over-think, hesitate, and press for certainty. The fruit of this effort? Paralysis and fear.
But that’s not why I chose Wonder as my word for the new year. I chose it because of its grander meaning.
Wonder, as a disposition, is liberating. Instead of wondering if, or when, or why, we can also wonder at, be in wonder of and feel wonder. This is usually the posture of a child. And this is the posture I am pursuing.
Children inherently recognize their vulnerability and need for protection. When they feel safe, they also know how to play. They marvel at almost everything. Adults don’t.
So, when I stop wondering about my circumstances and wonder at my Creator, hope resurges. When I pause incessant activity to marvel at a sunset, my soul is renewed. When fear about the future, or doubt about the present thrust me toward despair, pausing to recall how Love left glory for my sake woos me back over the threshold into awe.
If we weren’t urged in scripture to do this, choosing wonder could, at best, be construed as escapism. At worst, irresponsibility. But in heavenly terms, it’s called faith. Pure, unadulterated courage.
When my heart is encouraged to wonder at God’s infinite nature, my soul learns to rest in His sovereignty. If I’m in awe of His majesty, I will gratefully surrender my impossible burden for His perfect peace.
When we choose wonder, God exchanges our weakness, our limitations, our disfigurement and offers us, in exchange, His great treasure and beauty. Somehow, in our childlikeness, He then makes us a wonder before the heavenly hosts as we place our hope in Him.
That’s why Wonder, the movie, was so good. The protagonist was considered a wonder not because of his attributes, but because he was so brave. His childlike courage inspired hundreds.
During a walk on the beach today, as I intentionally opted to wonder at God’s creativity and beauty instead of wondering about a struggle our family faces, I saw the footprints of a little child interspersed with those of adults’. I felt the Spirit nudge my soul.
“Be like that child. Remember, although you must be a responsible adult, your greatest joy and strength will come as you become more childlike before me. Delight in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart.”
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3