Have you ever cried unexpectedly in public?
Several years ago, I sat in an auditorium where a blind man played piano. He shared how he learned to play piano and how the sounds for him appear as colors in his limited vision. As he played and shared, an unexpected emotion came over me and I began to cry. I realized that somewhere along the way, I had lost the sense of wonder which was so powerfully present in this young man and his art.
Since then, I’ve talked to so many adults who have lost their sense of wonder. Whether as a result of painful losses which have developed into cynicism in their hearts, or just time passing since they had tons of wonder as a child, the danger of losing wonder is something we are vulnerable to in this time.
When we lack wonder, we begin to think that nothing is happening in our present moment. We become bored and life feels empty. We struggle to be present and comprehend the point of view Dr. Wayne Dyer powerfully articulates. “Our present moment is a mystery that we are part of. Here and now is where the wonder of life lies hidden.”
One way to fight for your wonder is to maintain your memory. When we rehearse what we’ve seen and hold onto practices which expose us to wonder-inducing experiences, we keep fighting for wonder and against cynicism.
RELATED CONTENT: SONS THE BAND Has a New Story to Tell in "Goodness Gracious"
“You gave me a story to tell
You wrote a new chapter in me
When I thought that I was done
You had only just begun”
There was a time (which the band has not forgotten) when things were not as they are today. They had given up hope, only to see God stir something new on their behalf. The band goes on to describe specifically what Jesus did for them.
“That hill that was calling my name
You stepped in and took my place
You laughed in the face of defeat
You took up the banner for me”
Listening to “Goodness Gracious,” I was reminded of what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6. He lists a litany of sins, many of them sexual in nature, which reveal our depravity and separate us from God. Paul then writes, “None of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Paul’s words reflect a sense of wonder - a feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable or unfamiliar. Wonder often shows up in moments when we encounter something unfamiliar. But, wonder can also show up when we maintain an appreciation for beautiful and remarkable things. What Jesus did for us will always be beautiful. The challenge is, however, will we continue to consider it remarkable?
The problem of familiarity is best summarized, in my opinion, by Dallas Willard. He writes, “Familiarity breeds unfamiliarity, and unfamiliarity breeds contempt." Until we become familiar again with the work Jesus has done in our lives, it will be hard to have wonder about what He’s done and expectation about what He will do.
This is where the bridge of the song offers us a powerful model for faith-filled wonder. The band connects their past experiences with God to their future experiences with God.
“Oh You were faithful then
You will be faithful now
You keep your promise
Until the very end”
SONS THE BAND remembers the faithfulness of God and that holy memory builds their expectation that God is still able to keep His promises. They’ve seen God keep His promises, so they expect God to continue to keep His promises.
You probably aren’t sitting in an auditorium listening to a blind piano player. But, you may be in the same emotional and spiritual state I described earlier. Have you lost your sense of wonder? Are you becoming cynical? Has your life begun to feel bored and empty?
Because you woke up today, you have an opportunity to re-awaken your wonder. You have breath in your lungs and eyes to see the world around you. But, where do you start?
First, go listen to “Goodness Gracious. Let SONS THE BAND share their story with you. You probably aren’t where they are, but you can appreciate the authenticity of their experience.
Second, get outside. The beauty of nature often functions for me like the beauty of that piano player’s art. Before the winter pushes us indoors, stop and literally smell the flowers. Walk and listen to the dirt crunching beneath your shoes. Look at the birds and the insects. Watch the sunrise or sunset, while resisting the temptation to take a photo and post it on social media.
Third, take a step towards wonder. I’ve always been moved by the words of the poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She writes, “Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God. But only he who sees takes off his shoes”
Whether you take off your shoes, close your eyes, run around, jump in puddles, let yourself smile, or just listen, I pray that God reawakens the wonder in your soul. May you remember who He is and what He's done for you.
Scott Savage is a pastor and a writer with the best last name in the world. Scott’s writing helps you laugh, challenges you to think, and invites you to grow. He leads Cornerstone Church in Prescott, Arizona. Scott is married to Dani, an award-winning attorney, and they are the parents of three growing savages. You can learn more about Scott’s newest resource, The Start-Over Guide, at scottsavagelive.com