Never Lose the Wonder
- Thursday, April 22, 2004
The last several decades have seen amazing advances in technology. My parents were excited about black-and-white television, and they threw a party when BBC TWO was launched in the 1960s. Now with satellite and cable television there are more channels and features available than they ever dreamed of. Along with this, the Internet gives us access to more information than any of us know what to do with, and we can talk or send pictures on mobile phones to people on the other side of the world.
With all the scientific and medical advances, sometimes it is hard to find anything that astounds and surprises us. Mystery and wonder have been lost. Take the sense of wonder from human beings and you make them the poorer. Looking in a dictionary, I find words that cluster around the idea of wonder, words such as "amazement," "surprise," astonishment," "bewilderment," "admiration," "awe" and "fascination." When we look to Jesus, when we soak in His Word, these are the kinds of responses that should grip our hearts. As our eyes open to all that Jesus has done and as these mysteries amaze us, our only response should be wonder and heartfelt worship.
When I was a little boy, one of life's highlights was when my dad said, "Tim, we're going to McDonald's for dinner today." I loved it. As we'd approach the golden arches, the excitement was overwhelming. We'd stand in line and I'd order the same thing every time: Big Mac, fries and chocolate milk shake. Every mouthful was amazing and nothing else in life compared with eating at McDonald's all too often. Just recently I popped in for some lunch and ordered my usual. As I walked out, it happened – I'd lost the wonder of McDonald's!
Complacency can be such a dangerous thing. If we have been Christians for a long time, we can easily fall into it. We've heard the stories hundreds of times, we've sung the songs and prayed the prayers, and now nothing really surprises us. To be honest, often when I read the Bible, my heart isn't full of wonder. As I sing to Jesus, I'm not always overcome by awe. Hymn writer William Cowper wrote in the 1700s, "Where is the blessedness I knew when first I saw the Lord? Where is the soul-refreshing view of Jesus, and his word?"1 These words are often my words. Romans 12:11 says, "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." We have a responsibility to maintain our passion for Jesus. We need to find those places of wonder where our souls can be refreshed by who Jesus is.
About Saint Francis of Assisi, G.K. Chesterton wrote, "His religion was not a thing like a theory but a thing like a love-affair."2 For this reason we need to pray for more revelation. In my life there have been times when I've become legalistic and tried to love God more by doing religious things. Yet doing hasn't deepened my passion for Jesus. The only thing that deepens my passion is God-given revelation of who He is.
Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus
Losing something of worth is always horrible. When it happens, we are sure to search high and low until we find whatever we lost. For a parent, the worst nightmare must be that of a missing child. I remember, when I was about 10, coming home from school to find my mom deeply distressed. My little brother, Stephen, who was about four at the time, had been missing all afternoon. My parents had looked everywhere, and the police were now involved in the search. I started running around the neighborhood calling out for Steve, desperately hoping he'd be all right. After about half an hour, I came back home and was in our back garden when I saw something in the bushes and went to investigate. To my delight I found Stephen fast asleep under a bush. He'd been playing football and had kicked the ball into the bush. He obviously went to recover the ball but for some bizarre reason decided to have a little siesta. Immediately everything was all right. The panic and fear became a distant memory. All that mattered was that Stephen had been found.
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