One of the delightful things to observe in toddlers is their sense of wonder, to see a smile on their little faces when beholding the seemingly trivial, and hearing them utter, “Whoa!” along with giggles. They laugh at a sneeze, they delight in an intimate game of peek-a-boo with Mom, and they are amazed watching a butterfly.
Somehow, as we grow older we become more “sophisticated” and our sense of wonder becomes atrophied. Sadly, this happens in the lives of believers, too. Why? For certain, life does not become less marvelous.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. ~ Psalm 19:1-6
When I was working on my undergraduate studies, I was in a class on human anatomy. It was fascinating to me just how complex the human body is. From the various systems (e.g., cardiovascular, nervous, digestive, etc.) to the cellular and DNA. Although our teacher is a Christian, he never opened or closed class with prayer, nor did he ever reference the Scriptures. Yet, the class was a very theological class to me. I marvel that anyone in the medical field remains an atheist. Throughout my studies in anatomy I continuously remembered the words of the psalmist,
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. ~ Psalm 139:13-14
Is it not strange that people will marvel over the latest technological gadget (of which no one ever questions or denies there being a creator behind the scenes), yet the human brain and mind still baffle the best of doctors and educators? Is it not unfortunate that people can be so impressed by others dunking a ball or acting on a screen, while being totally oblivious of the true wonders all around them (e.g., a baby being formed in the womb, the blossoming of flowers, a tree coming forth from a seed, the metamorphosis of a caterpillar, the strength and productivity of ants, etc.)? The complexity and orderliness around us constantly declare the glory of God, so how have we lost our sense of wonder—even within the walls of many of our churches?
Our loss of wonder (and for some unbelief) is neither trivial nor a mistake. We allow ourselves to become busy and distracted, we close our eyes, we shut our ears, or we harden our hearts. Blaise Pascal observed that our distractions, in part, stem from having not to think about our wretchedness (fallen condition) and mortality. The Bible declares our lack of wonder and rejection of it is inexcusable.
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. ~ Romans 1:19-21
As Christians, our lack of wonder is sin, plain and simple. If we have lost our wonder, then it means our hearts have been wooed and distracted by the vain philosophies (see Col. 2:8) of this world and/or by the desires of the sinful nature. If we have lost our sense of wonder and taken our focus off the glory of Christ, then we need to repent.
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. ~ Revelation 2:4-5
May the Holy Spirit blow upon the embers in our hearts and rekindle an awakening and passion for Christ! May He help us to recapture our sense of wonder, and help us to see the glory that is continually manifested all around us.