awe and wonder
I never thought holding a newborn baby could be a humbling experience until I stared into the face of my neighbor’s two-week old. I was fascinated by the way her little eyes moved around , to her everything seemed so brand new and exciting. It was then I realized what the Lord meant when He commanded us to be childlike. It is to be dependent, trusting and be in awe and wonder.
It was not too long ago I had a conversation with a young adult about this. Somehow the reality, harshness and the functionality of life slowly eat away and rob us of the ability to be wonderstruck by God. Yes, we can still be awed by the sight of a beautiful sunset in Maui; by the crystal clear emerald water in Bora Bora, and the grandeur of the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska. What I mean is more than being captivated by the natural beauty around us, it is the ability to be astonished by God, and as someone once said “to be able to have that mind of baby in our adult state of mind.”
It is like going to Disney World, a magical and extravagant playground for all ages. I remember the first time when I went there I was so thrilled and could not get enough of everything. As time goes by “The Happiest Place on Earth” gradually lost its charm and the initial excitement is no longer there. My mind is often focused on the practical aspects: costly admissions, long line ups, expensive food…. I am more concerned with the adult problems than seeing the place through the eyes of a child.
With today’s accessibility to knowledge, we all become specialists of some sort. Just in my neighborhood I am surrounded by a handful of intellectuals: a genetic engineer, a pharmaceutical researcher , an author of Japanese culture and a university professor. As we grow in our area of expertise, we naturally become selective to what we are exposed to, and to me that is the ultimate challenge as we become more “discerning” in our own preferences and our own worldview.
Despite all the challenges in our lives, we need to nurture a desire for the wonders of God. They are not what the eye can behold or what the brain can analyze. They are the unexpected moments when God reveals Himself to us, when He does something impossible and when He touches us gently and brings unexplainable peace. These moments are what I called “spiritual awakening”, they arouse us from our deep slumber and reminds us that He is indeed walking and living with us. These moments are significant as they inspire us to know God more as we discover the splendor and majesty of our One True God.
The little baby in my arms is living simply at this moment. All she needs is someone to hold her, feed her and care for her. Shouldn’t I live like that ? Just cast away all the complications and bask in His great love? shouldn’t I have eyes like a child, seeing everything with this excitement and freshness?
No doubt about it, life is hard, with all these distractions around I need to keep my eyes, ears, and heart open to God. For I know He wants to reclaim my attention in the most splendid and unexpected ways. It might not be an earth shattering experience, but they are the ones which will make Him real and will cause me to worship Him in awe. The most important thing is when I become more aware of this marvelous and magnificent God, those who I am leading will see it too.
I want to be a baby again in my adult state of mind.