The wonder of life—what is it, and how do we keep it? When children are little, they are in a constant state of wonder. The world is a place of discovery in which they are continually looking, touching, tasting, and exploring their new world. Very gradually, however, the wonder is squeezed out of life as we get older. When it comes to guarding the wonder of our faith, that is something we have to be vigilant about. We must fight to maintain the awe for life and for God.
This wonder is the ability to appreciate beauty and creativity. It means to live with all your senses open and ready to take in the wonder around you. I love the word “awe,” and I am referring to living in awe of God, prepared to experience what God has for us each day. This awe and wonder come to us through the incredible gift of relationship. First, we establish our relationship with God. The Bible sums it up like this: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Prov 1:7). As we learn to fear God, we learn his significance and, subsequently, our importance in this world. Then we learn how to relate to others.
This fear of God keeps us from becoming presumptuous. It keeps God the priority of our lives. Through our relationship with God, we learn to appreciate our gifts and accept that we are original. God only made one of a kind. The fear of God opens our mind to learn something every day. We become aware of what is right and what is wrong. The fear of God gives us the courage to fight for what is right and reject what is wrong.
Most of all, our relationship with God gives us the power to forgive. Learning how to forgive and keep on forgiving is the glue that makes our human relationships work. When you meet a person who is isolated and very untrusting, you have met someone who has lost the ability to forgive. When we refuse to forgive, we close the doors and windows to that wonder of relationship. Life gets smaller and dreadful.
God doesn’t want us to stop savoring the wonder of life. Most of that will come through the people in our lives. Because we know and fear him, he helps us to develop genuine relationships with people that bring us the wonder of relationship.