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Friday, December 25, 2015

Wonder

A Christmas Wish

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.”
St. Augustine

Are you a person given to wonder? Last summer, I sat on a Pacific beach and watched sun-browned, towheaded youth glide through the curls of enormous waves until water closed over them and crashed back into the ocean. I marveled at their dexterity, and wondered how on earth one can stand and balance on a slim board in moving water. I barely do that on solid ground. Later in the year, in the North Carolina mountains, I saw fields of grain yield to the wind in the same wave-like pattern, and was mesmerized by the movement. A couple of nights ago, just before five in the evening, the sky outside turned an ominous shade of green—never a good sign in this tornado prone part of the world. I watched as a wall of thick, black clouds marched, like the armies of Mordor, behind that light. All of nature is wondrous, even the nature in your own back yard.

We rarely think of ourselves as equally fascinating. We are a marvel of engineering that we notice only when something goes wrong. Our hearts beat seventy-two times per minute without being told. Every couple of seconds, bidden or not, our lungs fill with air. Our brains coordinate with our fingers to write words, compose music, soothe a crying child; and with our feet to walk, run and dance. We think, and create and emote; curiosity is our very nature. With our senses, we take in the world and are awed by its majesty.

“I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,” says Psalm 139. My wish for you this Christmas day, and for the year to come, is that you are awake with wonder—for our world, for your fellow human beings, and for yourself.

                                                                         In the Spirit,

                                                                              Jane

1 comment:

Charles Kinnaird said...

Great post! Love the quote from Augustine -- that's a new one to me.