I am addicted to awe, beauty, and wonder. After a couple of substantial ‘round the world’ trips in the last eighteen months, I have become acutely aware of the search for moments when my eyes and soul widen in wonder.
Walking into St. Peter’s Square for the first time, flying over New York City, enjoying peaceful moments in your favorite chapel in the whole world, finding yourself in the middle of that Coldplay concert you’ve waited forever to see, or realizing you get to spend the next month living at a castle in the middle of England. Moments like these most certainly shift perspective and make you realize how blessed you truly are.
The concept of wonder, the way it raises our gaze and strengthens our faith, has become a popular focus for mainstream Christian worship bands recently. Bethel Music sings, “may we never lose our wonder.”
“Wide eyed and mystified // May we be just like a child // Staring at the beauty of our King.” – Bethel Music.
There’s something free and childlike about a moment captured by wonder. Something simple and endearing. Something captivating. Hillsong United just announced the release of a surprise album titled ‘Wonder.’ Speaking about the intention of the album, Joel Houston, the band’s front man, said, “This is the challenge, and this is what worship…is ultimately designed to do. To elevate the conversation, re-awaken the soul to something other, and lift our eyes to the wonder of a superlative truth.”
The lyrics in the title track speak of God being the wonder in the moments of our life, the moments that are more complicated or intense (“You’re the wonder in the wild”), and they sing about the way God turns our disconnectedness, our wilderness into wonder. The challenge then exists in the ordinary. How do we ensure our wonder and wide eyes aren’t limited just to the extraordinary? Despite the fact that in the back of my mind I am planning the next big trip to see things that are outside of my present reality, I am aware of my need to see God’s power moving in the wonder that surrounds me every day.
I live in New Zealand, so I hardly have to look far to see the beauty of the natural landscape around me. If you’ve seen the Lord of the Rings or actually been to this part of the world, you know that it’s beautifully green, delicate and down to earth. New Zealand isn’t without its own social, economic and environmental challenges, but it’s a little more sheltered than most of the world. Lots of green, rolling hills, and possibly a little closer to how things may have been intended at the beginning.
Socrates is attributed with saying that, “wisdom begins in wonder.” I have a feeling that my desire for growth and wisdom throughout my life is going to be intrinsically linked to wonder as it has been thus far. I know there are certainly things I still want to see, still hope to do, things I still have a deep desire to experience because of the anticipation of the wonder they would hold. More places to travel to, more people to share life with, more ways to serve and to love in radical ways.
In a world where many happenings are far from wonderful, may we choose to see the good and the beautiful in the midst of it all. May we choose to see the wonder of the world around us, the wonder of who we are and who we have been created to be. And the wonder of that Creator and His immense love for us.
May we never lose our wonder.
About the Author: Residing in the middle of Middle Earth (Wellington, New Zealand) Isabella McCafferty has spent the last few years at home and abroad looking to live with a zeal for adventure, to quench the thirst for new horizons and with the desire to live out her baptismal call in transformational ways. She’s got a heart for young people and the Church and is always looking for new ways to communicate faith, encouraging others to see the way God is consistently moving in their own lives. In whatever spare time she has she enjoys traveling, taking photographs, writing and planning the next adventure.