Try the Wonder Challenge

 “Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”

John 3:7-9
– David, Beks, and Geoffrey – awe and wonder in one photograph

Yesterday’s post – We All Need a Little More Awe – is still hanging around in my head, setting the tone for my writing this week. I’m continuing to think about how I/we are inspired on a day-to-day basis, and how easily we miss, or overlook, people/events/things that are potentially awe-inspiring if only we learn to pay attention.

Jesus consistently made reference to this tendency toward spiritual dullness. He said things like, “Would you people please for crying out loud pay attention!” Or, “Are you even listening?” and, “Those of you who have eyes, please use them!”

It really is all about paying attention; about opening our eyes.

The gift of wonder.

The deliberate setting aside of cynicism.

The choice to believe that possibility can be more than the limits of our finite perception.

The problem with unbelief:

One problem with unbelief is how it insists that the universe conform to our limited powers of observation. The world must be flat! Why? Because I cannot see beyond the horizon!

– the curve of Earth from space

“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:24-29).

How much we miss when we have already decided what can and can not be!

How often during the day do we stop, take a deep breath, and simply absorb the wonder that is around us?

Even in the darkness of war. Even where grief is a constant companion. Even in places where it appears that cynicism and anger and disappointment hold sway.

My invitation:

– Image from James Webb telescope

This is my invitation for us all to be open-spirited. Just unlatch the door, and watch for the winds of wonder to blow it all the way open. Just crack the window, and cultivate a heart that is not so preemptively shuttered to possibilities.

Do not preclude wonder and awe by nailing any and every opening shut.

The spirit blows where it will. “The wind blows where it chooses,” Jesus pointed out, “and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

If you don’t believe me then carry a small journal through the next four weeks. Label it “WONDER” then do these three things:

  1. Unlatch the door to your spirit and commit to at least paying attention.
  2. Jot down everything that sparks wonder and awe (take five minutes at the end of each day to make sure you have noted everything.
  3. At the end of each week, share your notes with someone else.
– wonder of a grandchild!

I am not trying to make Christians out of you so much as invite everybody to set aside cynicism and open their spirits to the possibility of wonder and awe.

Be an honest pilgrim, then I believe you will make an amazing disciple – DEREK


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