Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Good Things Come to Those Who Wonder

I believe this posture, this attitude, this position, if we could just be open to it, enter into it, walk in it continuously, this one could change the world: It's the posture of Wonder. Think how Wonder would slow us down, stop us in our tracks before we made a rash judgment, or an offensive remark, or grasped at something rather than received it as a gift. Wonder can open our eyes. Wonder can crack the seal on the surface of things. It can break the jar of aromatic perfume that is Life and spread it out and into the world. Wonder is when we open up and say "awe" to the miracle of the persons and things that surround us, encounter us, and penetrate us throughout the day. "Without wonder, men and women would lapse into deadening routine and little by little would become incapable of a life which is genuinely personal." - Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio OK, I want some of this! But how do I get it? How do I fall into this position of Wonder when I don't have a minute to think somedays? Well, for starters, find a minute to think each day. If you don't have time to kill, then time is killing you. Take charge! Clocks were made for man, not man for clocks! Wonder can awaken in us when we realize, as the ancient Greeks did, that there are two definitions for time; chronos and kairos. Chronos is measuring time for things, kairos is measureless time for persons. Kairos is time spent with loved ones, friends, or in the rhythms of nature. Chronos is the tick of a clock saying your order is up. Try living kairos time. Go outside and sit still before a tree or a field or some water and DO NOTHING but Wonder. Drink a glass of wine, slowly. Talk to someone, face to face, not through some wires or gadgets. (I know this is a paradox as you stare at the screen of your computer; it's actually kinda funny I just wrote that). You'll be amazed at how the pupil of your soul will enlarge, like a deep pool, like the way you look at someone you love. Let the mind and heart wander in wonder.... when you feel the pull to look at your watch, DON'T. When you feel the pull to look at your watch again, DON'T... again. When you feel the itch to check for the third time... go ahead and check. I'd be willing to bet it was only 3 minutes. That's kairos! It's quality time, not quantity time. You don't have to go and sit in the grass by the way (although it is fun). On the way home today, at a stop light, at the station, look at the woods, watch people, find a frail stalk of green bursting from the cracks in a sidewalk (they always find a way) and look at it, ponder it, drink it in. You don't have to get up for the sunrise and sit there for 45 minutes to watch the spectacle unfold (although that is an EXCELLENT IDEA!). I mean look and listen to what is already around you. Shhhh.... listen. The front porch to Wonder (and yes, I will continue to capitalize it because it is soooo Good) is this silence. Soren Kierkegaard, the 19th century Danish Christian philosopher, once said "If I were a physician, and if I were allowed to prescribe just one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe silence. For even if the Word of God were proclaimed in the modern world, how could one hear it with so much noise? Therefore, create silence." We are surrounded by Wonderful things and Wonderful people. Do we recognize these gifts? Let's start on the path to Wonder by creating a quiet place in the soul where we can let reality speak. Let's start with the Wonder of our own existence... "Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made, wonderful are your works." - Psalm 139
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