Wednesday, April 27

Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder

I've been trying to figure something out for a while, and I think I've nailed it. There is a point most people reach in life where their childlike sense of wonder is lost.

Wonder as a noun is defined as "the emotion excited by what is strange and surprising; a feeling of surprised or puzzled interest, sometimes tinged with admiration."
As a verb it is, "to think or speculate curiously," or "to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel."

Talking about a sense of wonder reminds me of a song. It's from my junior high or high school days, and while some may call it cheesy, I think it reads like a beautiful letter from a mother to a daughter. I Hope You Dance by Leeann Womack. This line from the song keeps coming back to mind: "I hope you never lose your sense of wonder."
And that is it - the thing I believe many people lose, or let go of, or bury under a pile of other life "stuff." Wonder is something I want my daughter to have.

I want her to never lose her sense of wonder. I want her to keep a childlike faith always. I want her to marvel at the flight of a butterfly, and gasp at the beauty of a sunrise. I hope she'll smile at blooming spring flowers, and giggle at falling snow. I pray she marvels at the Rocky Mountains' majesty. Like the song says, I hope she feels small when she stands beside the ocean. I pray she'll lift her head up at church, look around, and feel joy seeing the family of diverse, beautiful people worshiping God. I hope her breath catches when she witnesses someone making a life-changing decision for Christ. I pray that Christmas and Easter mean so much more to her than the commercial holidays they are becoming. I want her to honor life as sacred at any age, to notice the quiet cooing of a newborn baby or the wrinkled hand of her great grandmother. I hope she tears up someday upon seeing an elderly couple tenderly holding hands just as they have for decades before she was even born. I pray she knows how much God has in mind for her. I pray that cynicism never touches her heart or weighs down her lips.
I want her to keep the wonder that God plants in every heart when it's conceived. It's just so special.

I may have lost my wonder as a teenager - I don't remember. But I absolutely got it back, and tenfold, through the long journey of liver disease, transplant and recovery, and all of the hard days of pain and discomfort since then because of everything else I deal with on top of my liver. I always count that as a blessing. If I've gone through what I have so that I have a rare sense of wonder about me, it is worth it. I know God has purpose for it. I believe living with wonder is a better way to live, and I want that for my girl. Truly, I want it for everyone. Guard your wonder, and keep it safe. It makes life sacred, and memories as treasures. If you still have it, I hope you never lose your sense of wonder. And if you've lost it, I pray you'll find it again.

Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance:"

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances but they're worth taking
Loving might be a mistake but it's worth making

Don't let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance!