Grace Notes - for spring

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 Wonder can lead to worship

    Nancy Kennedy


    If you don't count people or God, or maybe cake with buttercream icing, I think what I love most in life is wonder.

    I love the sense of surprise mixed with curiosity, of awe and bewilderment and delight -- all rolled into one emotion.

    One night a week or so ago, I slept in the moonlight. I had gone to bed at the usual time in the usual way, and then was taken by surprise by the moon peeking through the blinds. It was big and round and brighter than I had seen moonlight in some time -- and I opened the blinds and crawled back into bed to watch the still and silent nighttime show.

    It felt mystical and magical, and as I marveled at the incredible amount of light reflected by this hunk of rock so many millions of miles away I thought, "My Father made that!"

    Ravi Zacharias, author of "Recapture the Wonder," says wonder interprets life through the eyes of eternity while enjoying the moment, always being careful to give recognition to wonder's source.

    It thrills a person to her knees.

    Of course, lots of things thrill -- roller coasters, receiving flowers at work when it's not even your birthday, still fitting into size 8 pants after a month of eating too much cake.

    But wonder, although it thrills, goes beyond goosebumps and heebie jeebies and happy surprises. Wonder goes beyond because it's from beyond. Wonder is that response from the creature when the Creator does something marvelous and immeasurably more.

    Consider the color green. Tree after tree after tree -- how many different shades and hues of green can there be? And how is it that green is such a soothing color on the eye?

    Or how is it that the sound of the ocean could lull and calm a restless spirit or the feel of sunshine on one's face could warm the coldest of hearts, a breeze could stir one's very soul?

    My Father did that. My Father does that, and only he knows how and why and when and who needs a dose or two of wonder to bring a person to her knees.

    Saint Julian of Norwich once said, "Truth sees God; wisdom gazes on God, and these produce … a holy, wondering delight in God."

    I don't think you can have wonder without delight, and I don't think you can have delight without worship. Not true wonder and not true delight.

    We live in such cynical times, although I suppose every time had its cynics. 

    How sad for them. How sad to think that people refuse to acknowledge that God is and that the things he does inspire wonder and worship. How sad not to be able to sleep in the moonlight and experience the delight of thinking, "My Father did that."

    I have a friend, a new Christian, who uses the word "awesome" regularly and often. Rain and thunder and lightning are no longer weather nuisances, but are "awesome displays of God's power." Dusk, dawn, sunrises, sunsets -- all "awesome," all wonder-full. Life is now a curious adventure, a wonderfully awe-full challenge, a gift from Creator to creature, from Father to child. Even the difficulties are wonder-full because God is in them and works his wonders through them.

    D.H. Lawrence once said, "When the wonder has gone out of a man he is dead."

    On the flip side of that you might say that when a man is filled with wonder he is fully alive.

    Just in case you've forgotten, despite what the cynics say, it truly is a wonderful world.


Nancy Kennedy is the author of “Move Over, Victoria - I Know the Real Secret,” “Girl on a Swing,” and her latest book, “Lipstick Grace.” She can be reached at 352-564-2927  or via email at nkennedy@chronicleonline.com. Follow her on Twitter at @nancykchronicle.