By Jeannie Blackmer
Wonder | noun | won•der | a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar or inexplicable.
Do you remember being struck by awe when you were a kid? I do.
I can recall the first time I looked, really looked, at a snapdragon. I remember staring at it for the longest time and seeing a literal dragon. I squeezed the flower pedals so it opened and closed like the mouth of a living creature. I laid down in the grass, held the flower in my hands and examined the colors, the leaves, and the stem. In my imagination, I created an entire story about a royal family and their friendly pet dragon who saved them from an evil witch. When I returned to reality I wondered how this incredible flower came to be. A sense of astonishment filled me. Even as a young girl I had a sense that God was very, very real. How else could things like snapdragons have come to exist?
Do you remember the delight you felt when you were young and saw something amazing? That is wonder.
Sadly, as we grow older those "wonder moments" can become rarer.
Life has a way of stealing the wonder away as we face the daily grind.
We put our heads down, do our work, do our workouts, get used to the people around us and get stuck in our routines. We stop paying attention. We stop looking for the inexplicable. We stop being curious. We stop trying new things. We stop learning new things about the people we're so familiar with. Frankly, our senses our dulled and we stop seeing the world through the eyes of a child. We stop seeing the beauty around us. Perhaps we even stop believing God is real because we no longer see him.
Recently, I started beekeeping and as I learned about honey bees that feeling of "surprise mingled with admiration" re-entered my life. I gained a new understanding for my friends, who have been beekeepers for a decade, and why they are so smitten with bees. The bee colony, the different roles of the bees, the importance of the queen, the communication that happens, how vital bees are to our environment, it's all incredible. For example, my first hive, which I named The Happy Campers, lost their queen. We have no idea what happened to her but she seemed to have gone missing. This little royal family was in danger. Without a queen, the colony would perish. Knowing this, the bees created queen cells which would hopefully produce a new queen.
Eventually, one of these queens emerged and the colony survived. As I talked with my friends, read books, watched YouTube videos and learned more about bees I became more curious and enthralled with the whole deal. I can sit near The Happy Camper's hive and watch them go in and out of their entrance for hours. I want to soak it all in. Some bees are foragers, some housekeepers, some guards, and some are caretakers of the young bees. It's remarkable and it's sparked wonder in me.
After experiencing this, I determined to add more wonder to my life.
Brad's Montaque, the creator of the popular Kid President videos, said, "Wonder rescues us from the ordinary, and it is incredibly powerful." Beekeeping showed me this is true. I've been rescued. I still live a very ordinary life, but opening my eyes and looking for wonder have made my ordinary day extraordinary. Beekeeping, reminded me of my wonder moments when I was little and caused me to commit to living my life with this sense of wonder—starting now.
Best of all, this has helped me see God in the most ordinary things. Watching the sun rise and set, looking at the flowers in our garden, watching a child play in a mud puddle, seeing a horse run freely in its pasture, feeling the refreshing cold water of a swimming pool on an extremely hot day, has made God very real.
Psalm 19 explains eloquently how we can see evidence of God every day, every moment, in our world...
"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." —Psalm 19:1
I want others to discover this too. So, my challenge to all of you is to commit to a summer of wonder. Reawaken your senses to the marvels around you and perhaps you too will see God in even the most ordinary moments.
"The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper."
— W.B. Yeats
Have a "wonder-full" summer and please share your
wonder moments in the comments below!
Jeannie Blackmer is married to Zane and mother to three boys. She’s authored three books, including MomSense: A Common Sense Guide to Confident Mothering, contributed content to more than 20 books, and written articles for a variety of magazines. She loves her family, chocolate, scuba diving and being outside as much as possible. She's managing the blog for the Flatirons Women's Ministry and is looking for writers! And she has a new book coming this fall...
P.S. Here's a link to Ben Foote's message this week at Flatirons Community Church about magnifying God and loved what he had to say, especially the part where he talks about God as the Creator. To listen click here.