Wonder; one of my favorite words. A feeling that over and over brings admiration to my soul.
You may ask, what exactly is wonder? Defined, wonder is “a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.”
Amanda Cook sings it like this, “wide eyed and mystified, may we be just like a child, staring at the beauty of our king”
I immediately think back to a particular moment I had back in Switzerland, not too long ago. It was the last day of ski season, and I was surely enjoying it. A day spent doing my favorite thing in the world, with some of my favorite people in the world.
That day I had realized that I had a dream the night prior; making this moment feel like deja vu. Trying to fit the pieces together, I then was brought back to what my sleepy head had envisioned. In my dream I was taken back in time; to exactly that same day, but a year before. It was also the last day of ski season, but I had been home in Montana. I recall telling my friend that day that I had felt blinded to where life was taking me. Frustrated with myself, and also with God, I felt powerless. Looking back at this season in my life, that day made complete sense. My underlying question that day was “God where am I going? What am I doing?? Who am I???”
Not being aware of God’s voice then, I now know, in that moment God did respond. Answering my questions with this one phrase: “trust me, and I’ll take you places you couldn’t even imagine”
And here I was, a year later I was on top of the world, skiing in the Alpes and walking in a promise. I found myself there living out a dream, that a year before, my faith wouldn’t have proved possible.
It was then that God started revealing to me the magnificent ways He calls wonder into our lives, when we give up our right to control. The magnificent way He calls adventure into our lives when we dedicate our lives to journey alongside Him.
“Childlike faith”- a phrase I myself hear so often, yet struggle with over and over again.
Sometimes my sarcasm kicks in, “yeah God I’m child like all the time, can’t you tell by the way I ‘accidentally ’ disobey, repeat the same old mistakes, and ask question after question”
But you see, being “like a child” isn’t referring to our behavior, but our faith. Yes, most of the time our behavior is a result of our faith, but God wants the roots. That when it comes down to our personal relationship with Christ, we would love God, treat God, and allow God to be the parent He longs to be.
That in my faith I would be like a child.
That I would submit to Jesus and trust in the Lord the same way I would to my parents when I was 6 years old and had pigtails.
Faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
I don’t know about you, but to me, that screams CHILD.
As I child we lack control, making it almost mandatory to trust those put above us. We were confident in who we were, cause really it was all we knew; your name, your age, the cartoons you watch were directly influenced by what your mom and dad said.
As a child, I dreamt without rationality (oh how I’d love to have that back). I also think of how easily surprised I was as a kid (and as I usually didn’t find myself weighing out career options or organizing my weekend schedule); it was easy. Think about it. Back to the days we played “make believe.” Not worrying about what we were gonna wear or how to act around different crowds. There were greater concerns, like which slide you were gonna go down first!
Recurring trust, young faith, and inspirational wonder…quite frankly as children it’s all there.
Our joy was found in running around free; knowing our parents wouldn’t be but a few feet away. Adventure was at every corner; going with the flow of following those older and wiser than us. Did stress even exist?
As “grown-ups” we love to have a plan; sometimes to the point of insisting on having one before agreeing to do anything at all. What time, where, how, with who, and why. Our appointments, our goals, and even our relationships get put into boxes. A time slot with a title and set alarm on our phone. Please don’t tell me I’m the only one?
But here’s my real question; do you ever catch yourself carrying this mindset into your faith? I know I do. Scheduling in times to pray, rationalizing why I didn’t have quiet time this morning, asking God;
What time? where? how? and why?
I think this is what they meant when they told me to “not put God in a box”, and looking back over the definition of faith, it doesn’t quite sound like faith at all.
No matter how long or even if we’ve invited God into our lives, we have the habit of leaving him outside of our “responsibilities”. Getting so caught up in becoming successful, paying bills, getting into school, whatever it is, we leave Jesus in the box of “Life Savior” and leave him out of the role of “Day Saver”, or even “schedule maker”. Why is this? Do I not believe that God is capable? Or is it the mere fact that I struggle giving up control?
On my DTS I remember one of my favorite speakers Ben Foster quoted, “God is either Lord of all, or not Lord at all”
Sounds kinda harsh, right? Why can’t I just allow you to have 40% of my life, Jesus?? Yet, when we hand our lives over to God he wants it all! This can be really scary and call for a tremendous ammount of trust, but as we discover more and more of God’s character; we realize God can handle it. “If He can hold the world, He can hold this moment.”
For myself I know I’m quick to give God my complaints, my problems, my worries, my concerns, my fear; but when it comes to my “busy schedule”, “valuable time”, and “right to know” (exactly what I’m going to do every day for the next five years, and why); it’s a different story.
In my experience, God rarely provides a 1-5 step plan, but he always reveals what’s happening now, and sometimes even what’s next. It’s not “human nature” to be okay with this, but it is all we need, and more, when we follow Jesus.
Why? Because God’s intentions are perfect, his timing is flawless, and when he hides His answers to His questions it’s for our own good. Sometimes we don’t need to know, other times we wouldn’t understand (yet), and the rest of the time- God just wants it to be a surprise.
The moment I started accepting this, I began to discover a sense of wonder like never before. Not “wonder” like “I wandered away from my mom in the grocery store and got lost for 20 minutes and almost had a heart attack”, but a beautiful wonder from God that has left me, well, wide eyed and mystified.
Know God will lead you where you need to be as He fulfills every desire He’s placed in your heart. I mean, seriously, He is the creator and ruler of the universe!
Open up your plans and give God a chance to catch you by surprise. Be lead by the spirit as you experience God’s passion for adventure.
Quiet times don’t have to be scheduled and before meals aren’t the only times we’re allowed to pray.
Remember the goodness of our father and how much more a parent can work miracles when their child is willing to trust their plans and intentions.
Like a child, let’s be 100% influenced by what God says, and stand strong in our identity as children of the King. Our names, our age, the shows we watch, our weekend schedule, and even the slide we go down first can ALL be directly influenced by God; if we allow it to be.
I don’t have to act differently around different crowds when I know that I’m a daughter of an amazing dad who protects me, cares for me, and loves me no matter what.
This not only leads to low-stress levels and a solid foundation of who you are but also brings the excitement and admiration we once had as a child, into everyday life.
If God told me a year ago where I would be today, I wouldn’t have believed Him. Would my “knowledge of God’s plan” have actually prevented the “awe” feeling I now experience; as I look back seeing the adventure-filled journey God was preparing me for all along.
I mean for real, think about it, would every day of our lives be a glorious surprise party if we would just stop insisting to know every detail of tomorrow’s plan here and now. Would we find ourselves emerged in ongoing adventure if we just “let go, and let God” – be our Father?
Control, control, control; and we wonder why ‘life with God isn’t anything exciting’.
Surrender it, and become like a child. Let God, and your schedules out of the box. Never underestimate God’s capability to hold your burdens, and in return bring you a journey filled with excitement.
Perhaps you’ll find yourself doing things you’ve never thought possible and going places beyond your wildest dreams.
Maybe you’ll end up in the Swiss Alps or skiing in Montana. Perhaps you’ll look around to see that you’re already there, standing in a promise.