It is the one thing we admire about children: They wonder. They take time to be fascinated with the world around them. Everything is wonderful. Everything is a miracle.
It is the one thing that modern-age society largely lacks.
Yesterday, I took some time to read a chapter in one of my favorite books of all time called "God In Search of Man," by Abraham Heschel. The book is so rich in wisdom! Herschel was a Jewish rabbi and theologian who wanted people to truly understand what it meant to be "Godly."
He describes one of the most important ways to be "Godly" is to wonder.
I had never thought of that before.
Below are some of his best thoughts on the "idea" of wonder. These thoughts are worth wondering about:
"Awareness of the divine begins with wonder...The greatest hindrance to such awareness is our adjustment to conventional notions, to mental clichés."
"Is wonder the same curiosity? To the prophets [in the Bible], wonder is a form of thinking. It is not the beginning of knowledge but an act that goes beyond knowledge; it does not come to an end when knowledge is acquired; it is an attitude that never ceases. There is no answer in the world to man’s radical amazement."
"Our systems of education stress the importance of enabling the student to exploit the power aspect of reality. To some degree, they try to develop his ability to appreciate beauty. But there is no education for the sublime. We teach the children how to measure, how to weigh. We fail to teach them how to revere, how to sense wonder and awe. The sense of the sublime, the sign of the inward greatness of the human soul and something which is potentially given to all men, is now a rare gift. Yet without it, the world becomes flat and the soul a vacuum. Here is where the Biblical view of reality may serve us as a guide. Significantly, the theme of biblical poetry is not the charm or beauty of nature; it is the grandeur, it is the sublime aspect of nature which Biblical poetry is trying to celebrate."
"The sublime [the beautiful]…may be sensed in every grain of sand, in every drop of water. Every flower in the summer, every snow flake in the winter, may arouse in us the sense of wonder that is our response to the sublime."
"The most exalted objects such as heaven or the stars and he himself have a mystery in common: they all continually depend on the living God. "