A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Rekindling the Small Wonders

I am not a fan of winter. I've always been "warm-blooded" in that I am tolerant of the cold, but the older I get the more the cold is... well... cold. I don't mind the snow, but I wish that winter was a shorter season in northeastern Ohio. I have reached my cold and snowy limit by the beginning of February. I think my love of summer and all things warm have made winter something to be endured.

But then something happened to remind me of the wonder of a season that, over time has only come to be tolerated. Recently, my daughter posted a video on social media of my four-year-old granddaughter's wonder-filled reaction to seeing the first snowfall of the season out the front door of her house. Her surprise and whispering response, "Snow!" warmed the heart of this grandfather who had also responded to the weather with the same word except in a different tone.

What is it about adults that we can get so caught up in the daily routine, the big responsibilities of life, the hustle and bustle of moving from one duty to the next, that we lose the capacity to appreciate, to revel in the small wonders of life? Is it not possible to attend to our daily chores and still marvel at the barren trees coated in a glistening dress of white or to be amazed at the daffodils blooming once again each spring? How about artwork in the spider web that reveals a delicate beauty that glistens in the sunlight?

Jesus tells us that God notices the smallest things of creation.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (Matthew 6:25-30).
But the small wonders are not limited to an appreciation of the cycles of seasons and colors of creation. How about the wonder of a child's laugh, the intimate conversation with a friend of many years, the familiar piece of music that transports our memories back to an earlier time and another place? The small wonders are all around us, but to enjoy those wonders we must not lose the child-like faith necessary to "consider the lilies." We adults must work to retain and rekindle the adventure that is life which seems to come so naturally to children. G. K. Chesterton wrote, "The world does not starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder."

We are quickly approaching the seasons of Advent and Christmas, a time of the year filled with mystery and wonder and amazement-- the mystery of God's fleshly presence in a newborn baby, the wonder of a star leading heavenly-gazers to a distant place of worship, and the amazement of shepherds never imagining that they would be the first to witness the birth of the Savior of the world.

My hope is that child-like wonder will be rekindled in you this day and in this season, so that the little things of the day and the large mysteries of God's love will cause you to marvel at all things-- great and small.

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