Since Thanksgiving and continuing into the month of December, my husband Gary and I have been enjoying watching Christmas-themed movies and other programs. One of our seasonal favorites is “Elf“, starring Will Ferrell. If any actor or actress captured the essence of being filled with silliness and a sense of child-like wonder, Will Farrell did, as the over-grown elf named Buddy who eventually won over everyone who initially found his innocent behavior to be extremely annoying.
In the same week, I stumbled upon the 75th anniversary of Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular starring the world-renown Rockettes. I dare say it was probably just as good, if not better, seeing it aired on our large flat screened TV, than being there in person, because of all the great camera angles, some which took you right up on stage, than you’d ever see from your theater seat. What especially warmed my heart was when the cameras would pan the audience and capture the faces of the many children watching the show, with their eyes wide and their little mouths gaped open as they took in all the magic happening right before them, and exhibiting that unmistakable look of awe-struck wonder.
As children, it’s easy to wonder about so many things – we’re young and there’s always some new marvel grabbing our attention, so to be in a state of wonder is not something that has to be conjured up – it just comes naturally. But as we grow older and face many of life’s challenges and the daily grind, we tend to lose our sense of wonder just trying to make it from one day to the next. I was in just such a place of outright weariness when at the age of 41, the magical feeling of wonder took me by surprise when I made my very first visit to Disney World where my husband had made reservations for us to stay at The Wilderness Lodge. When we first walked into that palatial four-story structure made entirely of logs, which had been trimmed to the brim for the Christmas season, the sense of wonder struck me so hard, it was as if someone had suddenly thrown me a 25 pound medicine ball, that for several minutes I was truly speechless as I slowly turned in a 360 degree circle and I took it all in; and I’m sure how I felt at that moment must of been the same as any five year old at the sight of the Magic Kingdom on that very same day! My husband had visited Disney World many times before, so for him, his thrill and delight was seeing the awe and wonder on my face and in my eyes.
I think as we grow older we have to make more of an effort to find and put into practice the “art of wonder”, and thankfully, having children and grandchildren helps us rekindle wonder as we watch and experience with them, as my husband did with my reaction at The Wilderness Lodge, all things new.
And I don’t think God ever wants His children to lose their sense of wonder. Just as parents and grandparents delight in the wonder of their little ones, so too, I believe God delights when we wonder in Him and about Him, which got me to thinking about snowflakes the other day, which, in turn, reminded me of these scripture verses,
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made”, John 1:3
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse”, Romans 1:20
My childhood years were spent in the northeast and every winter we had tremendous amounts of snow and there were some days, when the conditions were just right, while it was still snowing, I’d go outside, all bundled up, and catch crystallized snowflakes in my opened hand. I’d look ever so closely at those tiny, fragile flakes of snow and could actually see the intricate six pointed designs with my naked eye! Even if I had stood outside all day long and captured thousands of them, each one of them would of been different from any other snowflake that fell that day, from all the snowflakes that ever fell, all over the world, since time began! The more I contemplated this, the more the wonder grew and my eyes got wider and my jaw dropped and I’m thinking that my Heavenly Father was taking just as much delight in my reaction, as I was in His creation! That’s the wonder our Abba Father wants us to revel in – these are His invisible attributes. His eternal power, His divine nature which are clearly seen in a single snowflake!
So, as we peer into the manger and set our gaze upon the babe, the One through whom all things were made, may our sense of wonder fill our hearts that will take us far beyond this Christmas season, and even more so… may be renewed by the “Wonder Of His Love”.