My heart was beating a little faster than normal. It was with a combination of wonder, excitement, and nervousness that I stood at the threshold of my first official day as a teacher. I couldn’t wait to welcome my students. I had been assigned bus duty and honestly, I would have much rather been in my classroom making last minute preparations! But, as I approached my post, I couldn’t help but catch my breath.
At this particular school, the south side bordered an open and undeveloped desert. Beyond the expanse of desert lay a horizon of chiseled mountains that brilliantly caught the shimmering morning sun. This Minnesota-just-moved-to-Arizona girl was struck with wonder! How could I ever complain about morning duty with a beautiful vision like that to begin my days?
Even though that morning was many years ago, I can vividly recall the emotions swirling about at the time. Just like that moment, there are several others that come to my mind. Riding a bike for the first time, driving a car, a first date, a proposal, an “I do”, the blue line on the pregnancy test, birth, that first smile, the first “mama”. And the first time I felt the power of Jesus working in my life. They are all moments that take our breath away. They are glorious, mind boggling, make-my-heart-want-to-burst kinds of moments. They are moments of wonder.
So, what happens? Why, after just a short while, would I not even notice those beautiful mountains anymore? And worse than that, I found myself settling into grumbling, forgetting the wonder I once experienced.
Why does the wonder disappear?
Why do we close our eyes to that which once caused us to catch our breath? It is a dangerous path that leads to a joyless existence. Without keeping wonder in our hearts, the wonderful will slowly slip away. Leaving in its wake a life of grumbling, anger, and resentment.
A life of grumbling is not where I want to go. I want to keep the wonder fresh! I want to hold on to those breathtaking moments. When my kids say “Moooooommmm” for the umpteenth time that day, below my fleshly irritation, I want to hold onto a piece of the wonder I felt the first moment my child said that word! When my husband tells me he loves me, even in the crazy busy of the day, I want to recall that heart gushing wonder of the moment I first heard those words.
And when it comes to Jesus. I do not want to take Him for granted.
I remember the joy. The excitement. The wonder of knowing Him as a young child and then as an adult discovering that not only was He a mighty and powerful God to be revered, but a gentle, loving, God who relentlessly stayed by my side and pursued me. When I opened my heart to have a personal relationship with Him, the wonder bubbled out. Uncontainable.
That is what I want to hold onto throughout every day of my life.
“Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.” Psalm 65:8
But how? How do we keep the wonder fresh and not get sucked into the whirlwind of a life filled with unending responsibilities. When I meet people who represent a life filled with this kind of wonder, I find that intentionality has been their key.
They are intentional about:
- Making thankfulness captivate their day.
- Creating small moments of quiet reflection where new things can be learned each day.
- Noticing the life and beauty surrounding them.
- Setting aside a time, no matter how small, to be with Jesus – whether it is praying, worshiping, or reading His Word.
- Choosing to think, speak, and surround themselves with all that is positive … all that is joy. Which means eliminating that which is negative.
When I look into the years ahead. I want to be the elderly lady with a smile on her face, giggling with my friends, and loving on all those around me.
The lady who is filled with bubbling over wonder of the Jesus Who has blessed her so richly.
The lady who still looks at the mountains and catches her breath with wonder.
Lord, Thank you for the wonder of this life you have given us. Each day we have been given the gift of life, of sunsets and sunrises, of the sparkle in another’s eyes. Lord, keep my eyes open with a pathway to my heart. Let me be moved by the little things – the little gifts you have given. I ask for your strength to stay diligent and intentional in my thankfulness so that my wonder may always stay fresh. In Your precious and holy Name I pray. The Name of Jesus. Amen.
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