pre blog, so it feels like fair game :-) gg
Have you ever experienced wonder? Had a reaction or an experience that was just pure delight even though you could not explain it? I’m sure you have. Think back to the last time you saw a new baby, or encountered a small child – you smiled, didn’t you? I did – I always do; I cannot help myself. It’s not a case of thinking to myself “There’s a baby, I think I’ll smile.” It – the smile – is just something that happens; it is a response to the wonder of the miracle of new life. Several weeks ago I attended a gospel concert, and I noticed it there too; I was smiling the whole time. It was not a conscious act, but rather a response to the spirit, the energy, the sound, all rolled together. I marveled at the wonder of a diverse group of people coming together and giving everything to make music in praise of God.
Thinking about wonder – what the dictionary defines as “a cause of astonishment or admiration” – provides a nice segue for thinking about the season of Advent. In a meditation I found on-line, Dennis Bratcher writes that “We live in a world in which bigger and better define our expectations for much of life. We have become so enamored by super size, super stars, and high definition that we tend to view life through a lens that so magnifies what we expect out of the world that we tend not to see potential in small things. But as the prophet Zechariah reminds us (Zech 4:10), we should not ‘despise the day of small things,’ because God does some of [God’s] best work with small beginnings and impossible situations.” He goes on to say that the season of Advent is one of hope “that human existence has meaning and possibility beyond our present experiences, a hope that the limits of our lives are not nearly as narrow as we experience them to be.”
This message seems especially fitting in a time of economic challenge. We are faced with making do with less. We are refocusing, now more aware of the small wonders in our lives. As we move into and through the season of Advent, may you to be aware of the “small things” in your life that are wonder-full. They are astonishing. Let your heart “smile” in response. Who knows what may come from such small beginnings…