Sunshine, stars and sea-life just aren’t what they used to be.
I wanted to write about a strange phenomenon that I sense happening to me, and I believe probably happens to everyone on different levels. It’s a bit hard to explain. It took me a while to even realize what was happening in my own experience.
Do you remember when you were a kid, and everything you did gave you a sense of wonder? When you did things, especially new things, it was like you literally felt it…like you absorbed it with a sense of wonder. Colors were brighter, smells were sweeter, and things touched the very core of your being. You played in the rain, stared at the clouds, watching them move by slowly until it made your neck hurt, let yourself believe things were real even though you knew they weren’t, and your imagination could scare you worse than a scary movie.
As I get older, it is almost as if life gets another coat of wax on it every year, so that things lose more and more of their sense of “real.” To my eyeball, the colors look just as vibrant, the rain feels the same…but I can’t feel it like I used to as a child. Every year more of the wonder leaves.
I believe I know the cause of this desensitization. It is knowledge.
That’s ironic really. Knowledge is what we all crave. It is what we spend our lives pursuing. But now when a drop of rain hits my skin, instead of experiencing a cool drop of water splash on me after an eternal journey from some mysterious home in the heavens, my mind simply translates it to H20 resulting from the water cycle. When I see the field of flowers, it is immediately converted to wavelengths and plant species.
I’d rather have the rain and the flowers.
I want to rip the wax off myself and the world.
I remember looking at the river in Chattanooga that I was white water rafting down one summer, and thinking I wanted to stand in the middle of it and feel the cold water rushing against me while I raised my hands to the sky and soaked in the sun’s bright rays and breathed the invigorating wind.
But I couldn’t do that. And the problem is that I know I can’t, and even if I tried, I would get pushed down, cut my foot on a rock, inhale water, be blinded by the sun and float downstream to get caught against a rock and drown.
I used to notice it a lot at the elementary school I where I worked. I see the same things there that I saw as a child, except now I see it all again with the all-seeing eye of wonder-quenching knowledge. Sometimes I miss the ignorance, the unknown, the excitement, …the wonder.
It feels a little weird, a little bit of unwanted morbidity. I suppose I understand more why older people don’t get too excited about much. They’ve seen so much, experienced so much, know so much. I haven’t experienced, or know as much as they do, but I can feel the annual glaze being baked on.
I’ve heard Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias say that this is one of the special things about God. He is the inexhaustible Well of Wonder. We were made for Him. He is the only thing that can never be encapsulated by our mind or understood by our intellect. Of time itself, He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the I AM, because He is unable to compare Himself to anything outside of Himself. He is omnipresent, omniscient and eternal. His love is uncontainable, His wrath unbearable, and His grace unexplainable. His holiness is thrice powerful, and His power undefinable. At His Word the universe ignites, and the heavens explode to their boundaries. At His raw presence men either fall on their face, or they fall down dead. He is the King of all Kings, the Lord of all Lords. His Son is the image of Him who is invisible. The One whose hair is as white as snow, and whose eyes burn as fiery coals. From whose mouth comes the sword of judgment, and whose footstool is the Earth. And at His name every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is LORD – to the glory of God the Father. And He will reign forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever….AMEN.
He is my wonder.