When You Lose Your Wonder

Wonder is the heaviest element on the periodic table. Even a tiny fleck of it stops time. - Diane Ackerman 

There are days when the world seems inhospitable for some of us. 

As if there weren't enough bad news to go around, we have plenty of our own to handle, both personal and professional.  

We find ourselves overwhelmed by the things that must be done and weighted down with the expectations placed on us by others and ourselves.  

In those days, we can feel hollow inside, unwilling or unable to tap into our feelings, weary from the regularness of life, and afraid of what might come next to assail us with difficulty. 

The most significant loss we suffer when we succumb to the hollowness we are experiencing is our loss of wonder.  

There are things to be amazed by all around us, but when we are in the depths of hollowness, it's nearly impossible to raise our heads and see them.  Instead, we just let our gazes dully pass over them without comprehending what life they could give us. 

It could be as simple as observing wildflowers by the roadside as they explode in color. 

Or observing someone filled with joy greet the people they meet in the parking lot of a grocery store with a smile and a kind word. 

According to Kate Bowler, it could also be observing the lights in your neighborhood's homes on an evening walk as you imagine people cooking dinner, settling on the couch to watch TV, or just laughing and talking together.  

There is plenty of wonder in the comfort that kind of thing can bring us. 

Kate Bowler wrote this prayer in response to her evening stroll and the wonder she began to feel that eventually banished all the hollowness from her spirit.  

There are days when 
Let the sun come down from the sky 
and touch me, 
and I will walk out to greet it
feeling the low murmur of the ground 
beneath my feet. 

And as the earth makes its creaky turns 
toward night, 
let the day fall in behind us. 
"What next?" we will say to the night sky, 
before we close the door 
and consider its answer 
I love the last stanza of this as the author discovers wonder again and realizes there is enough hope to ask, "What next?". 

If you have been struggling lately with a lack of wonder and the creeping hollowness inside that steals your joy and keeps you from feeling hopeful, maybe today you need to take a mindfulness walk or find a quiet place to sit and begin listing all that you are grateful for that you've lost sight of.  

Maybe all you need is a jump start to your wonder engine, a prayer for open eyes, and an open heart.  

Let yourself be filled with wonder.  Feel the joy of that experience, and let it lead you to hope for tomorrow.  

May it be so, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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