In one of the “Mini-Course” emails from fourthstream, Dave asked what really pushes my wonder button, and he suggested spending some time “cultivating wonder”. At the time, I answered the questions based on what typically always amazes me – the forest, the mountains. Big, majestic things that rarely go unnoticed.
The next day, I had some unexpected free time so I put on my tennies and headed out for a walk. This time of year is the best for exercising outside. Everything is so crisp, but still warm enough. I was in a neighborhood that isn’t my own so I spent a lot of time looking around – more so than when I’m in my own neighborhood and I’m stuck in my head, not noticing my surroundings. As I turned a corner out on to a main road, I headed down a slight incline and when I looked up ahead of me, I was moved suddenly and unexpectedly to tears. There was a sprawling stretch of sky laid out before me, in one of the most beautiful, unexplainable blues. Like Caribbean waters. There were a few thin clouds stretched out across the sky, and down toward the horizon it was beginning to turn pink and orange, just slightly. I’ve seen lots of pictures of beautiful skies and sunsets, and I was reminded at this moment why people photograph them. They want to capture the awe they feel at that moment. And while the pictures are always wonderful to look at, they never do capture it. There’s always a dimension missing.
This blue sky went above me and over me, and stretched out miles beyond the limited square miles in which I live out each of my days. And yet I probably “looked” at that sky several times that day without even noticing it. I’m sure that’s how it goes for people who live in mountainous areas – they just get used to the view. But getting snapped out of that routine and being caught off guard by creation is always the most moving experience. It’s those times when I feel closest to God, because his creation reaches in to a part of me that I can’t control. And while it makes me feel small and insignificant, it also makes me feel incredibly safe. Like whatever troubles or anxieties I am experiencing all fall under the umbrella of an immense power, one that has never failed to deliver me from my fears.
I’d encourage you to free yourself up for a few minutes and put yourself in a place where you don’t normally go. Whether it’s outside or inside, somewhere secluded or just in your back yard. It’s always so good for the heart to be caught up in an unexpected moment of wonder.