How to Experience God’s Wonder by Waking Up Your Senses
- Whitney Hopler Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2023 23 May
It’s essential to bring your God-given senses to life so you can notice the wonder happening around you. You can use all your physical senses – vision, sound, smell, taste, and touch – as tools for accessing wonder that enriches you spiritually. The more you integrate the spiritual and physical aspects of your sensory experiences, the more you can discover and appreciate wonder.
If, like many people, you’ve become desensitized by behaviors that temporarily relieve stress but numb your senses, work to change your lifestyle. Common numbing behaviors include everything from bad habits such as constant busyness, overeating, shopping too much, and watching excessive television to addictions like pornography, alcohol, and gambling. Make a plan, with God’s help, to stop doing anything that numbs you emotionally. Instead of turning to something that numbs you when you feel stressed, open your heart to God and ask for his help and peace of mind. The less you numb yourself, the more sensitive you can become to wonder.
Then look for opportunities to engage your senses every day as much as possible. As you pay attention to your physical senses, you’ll find spiritual insights that lead you to wonder.
Key Bible Verses about Waking Up Your Senses
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” – 1 John 1:1
“Ears that hear and eyes that see – the LORD has made them both.” – Proverbs 20:12
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” – Matthew 6:22-23
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” – Matthew 5:8
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” – Matthew 11:15
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27
“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” – 2 Corinthians 2:15
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” – Psalm 34:8
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” – Matthew 5:13
“A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.” – Matthew 8:2-3
“And wherever he went – into villages, towns or countryside – they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.” – Mark 6:56
Tips to Help You Wake Up Your Senses
Wonder is waiting for you everywhere. Use these tips to help you wake up your senses.:
Wake up your sense of vision. Go to a busy public place and watch people for a while. See how much interesting information you can learn just by watching them. Visit a local park and capture your impressions of the natural scenes there. Take photos or draw what you see that inspires you. Visit an art gallery with a friend and discuss each other’s observations of the artwork.
Wake up your sense of sound. Sit outside and close your eyes. Listen to sounds and make note of the different kinds – from traffic noises to bird calls. Enjoy a wide variety of music genres (rock, jazz, country, classical, etc.) rather than sticking just with your favorite type of music. As you listen, see if you can identify each of the different musical instruments in each song. Before you go to sleep, when your mind is relaxed, notice which sounds you hadn’t noticed before.
Wake up your sense of smell. Enjoy a meal with family and friends. While you’re eating, discuss the aromas of the food and why those aromas are appealing. Spend some time in a candle store sniffing the many different varieties of candles there. Which ones do you like the most? Which ones do you dislike? What memories do the scents trigger in your mind? Take a walk outside right after it rains, when the air is freshly clean. Pay attention to the various odors you smell and consider how those scents make you feel.
Wake up your sense of taste. Each time you buy groceries, buy a kind of food or drink you’ve never tasted. Whenever you discover something you like, buy more and share it with your family. Eat out at different types of ethnic restaurants. Learn about various cultures around the world by eating their cuisine. Cook some new meal recipes regularly to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Wake up your sense of touch. Hold hands with someone you love for at least a few minutes (perhaps while taking a walk together). Then discuss how loving touch broke down barriers between you and gave you a fresh appreciation for each other. Enjoy some uninterrupted time petting an animal and savoring the pure unconditional love that animal gives you through a sense of touch. Spend some time walking barefoot through your home. Pay attention to the sensations you feel as you do so – from soft, bumpy carpet to cold, smooth floors.
Learn more about how to wake up your senses in my book Wake Up to Wonder.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Leohoho
Whitney Hopler is the author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). She has also written the young adult novel Dream Factory. Connect with Whitney on Twitter and Facebook.