Monday, December 9, 2013

Wonder- See God Anew

Holy wonder can give us a break in the "too much" we create
A sense of wonder lifts us out of the anxiety and stress of the holiday season. Wonder is healing and life-sustaining. Other such "transcendent" emotions, such as humor, appreciation, gratitude, and hope can also nurture our spiritual connection with God and others, but wonder seems uniquely organic to the Christmas story. 

Wonder by definition is awe, astonishment, marvel, admiration, reverence. It often comes as the fruit or byproduct of seeing God's life and love revealed to us in a new way. Wonder usually comes with surprise, because it undoes even our best schemes for self-producing happiness.   

Wonder invites us to relinquish our tight gripped illusions of control. It's a sharp counter- balance to our fixation on having, buying, and making for ourselves the perfect Christmas. It's also a correction for all the voices around us and in us, promising us happiness if we only buy or do more. How often do I choose to listen to those false consolations?  

Only with the gift of wonder can we see anew the small and unnoticed things, like a seed growing silently, without hullabaloo, or simple kindnesses, such as a smile, a hug, or a visit. In O Little Town of Bethlehem, there's mention of the angels' watch of "wondering love." Seeing with the eyes of wonder and love may help us experience the presence of God here and now. For even in Advent, God is near and available to us!  (Phil. 4:5)     

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