Walking life’s hard paths after a while challenges your resilience, steals your Joy and mocks your Hope. Burdens weigh heavier and placing one foot in front of the other becomes the theme song of most days. But what if instead of continuing to carry weighted sorrows, you chose exchanging the dreary for delight, recapturing the art wonder?
When life’s sorrows and demands weigh heavy, choosing to delight in God and His beauty in the world around us is an act of defiance to all that desires to break us.
Recapturing the art of wonder opens our eyes to God’s goodness in the experiences and relationships we encounter every day. As we earnestly seek Him through image bearers around us, we turn the hard paths into holy ground.
Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends.
Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always.
We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning the art of “stillness” so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.
The Art of Wonder is a Gift
The more I spend time with my four-year old granddaughter, Grace, the more I realize how much I need the cultivation of wonder in my own life.
The simplicity of her delight in a simple game or song I invent for the moment, or her rapture in watching a butterfly on a flower outside her window captivate my heart.
Yet, the very butterfly so enrapturing to her, was rudely brushed by as I passed its hideaway on my way to her door!
As God delighted in the wonders on each of the days of creation, He blessed us with the gift of wonder both in Creator and creation.
Children eagerly unwrap and employ the gift of the art of wonder, while adults barely foster a glance much less a breath-taking gaze at Creator or creation.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Feeling the light more than actually seeing it, reluctantly opening my eyes, confirmed morning had come. Where once resided a grateful welcome, my heart held instead a disappointed dread.
Closing them again, I wondered how many more days would pass before gladness once again lighted my path.
As lament rose to my mind, the words, “what do you see?” silenced the sorrow making its way to my lips. “Nothing but more of the same gloom and grief,” echoed my bitter reply.
Just as the tears slid past my closed eyelids, Psalm 37:4 filled my mind.
Delight was not a word filling my days about anything, much less the Lord. Intrigued, I spent time savoring the word “delight” both in Webster’s 1828 dictionary, and in the original Hebrew text.
Yes, delight implied a high degree of pleasure or satisfaction of mind, but Webster took it one step further in declaring, “DELIGHT is a more permanent pleasure than joy, and not dependent on sudden excitement.”
Nuanced similarly in the Hebrew, put together with the full context of the verse, transformed what “I saw” along the hard path I travelled.
Choosing to delight or find a permanent pleasure in God regardless of my circumstances resulted in God transforming my thoughts or desires to His thoughts and desires.
The Hebrew word for “give” in Psalm 37:4, is “nathan” meaning “to appoint”. Rather than a myopic view of my situation or fostering unfit desires, delighting in God results in the appointment of His perfect will and the placing of His desires in my heart.
A Box of Wonder and Delight
What do YOU see when you look at your life? Signs of aging? Do you see the broken dreams of what could have been? Do you see more failures than successes?
Or perhaps like me, you simply see a never-ending road of darkness, strewn with disappointments?
The invitation I received from God on that long ago day was one of recapturing the art of wonder.
Though the path may stretch long, I can bring along anything I like, why not fill a box with wonder and delight connecting me with God’s goodness when weariness mars my vision?
Delight My Way
Looking at both present and past memories I pack my wonder box and delight my way:
- The warmth of a hug on an especially hard day.
- Shalom’s gentle, almost imperceptible nose poke politely saying “hello”.
- Grace’s contagious laughter.
- The kind smile of a stranger.
- The smell of tomato sauce drifting from neighborhood windows.
- The feel of soft bread dough beneath my fingers.
- God’s whisper through a verse of scripture I never noticed before.
- Warm ocean waves on my feet.
- The aroma of coffee just before the alarm goes off.
- The tiny caress of an infant’s hand.
- Chirping crickets on a summer night.
- God’s love in the kindness of others.
- The feel of the pages of my Bible on a cold morning.
- Tiny fingerprints on my freshly cleaned glass door.
- My husband’s calloused hands.
- Cold air in my lungs on a frigid morning.
I need a bigger box. As I asked God to open my eyes to ways I might delight in Him, I realized just how many places contained His goodness.
Grab a sheet of paper and create YOUR box of wonder and fill it with the delights of God’s goodness in your life.
Recapturing the Art of Wonder
While the hard paths often lead us through seasons of despair and even skepticism, we still have the freedom to choose what we see.
Going on a treasure hunt of wonder isn’t an escape from painful realities. To the contrary, it opens our eyes to God’s goodness IN the painful realities. We see new possibilities, rather than limitations.
If you desire to see only the darkness of the hard path, disappointment becomes a way of life. But choosing delight in the Lord over lamenting self-proclaimed misfortunes blinds you to God’s goodness and unfailing love hidden within the mundane, and even painful of life.
As you recapture the art of wonder, what delights will you take with you on your journey?
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