IT’S TIME TO REAWAKEN WONDER
by Lyn Packer
Sometimes God speaks to prophets through unusual things. Recently I was reading a Facebook post when God interrupted it by speaking to me as I read. The post was about a man who was holding a conversation with the person seated next to him on a plane. As he asked the person about his life story he was amazed at how interesting the man’s life had been. He kept asking the man questions because as they talked the man seemed to just gloss over parts of his story that, to the listener, were fascinating. During the conversation he realised that this person, who had an amazing life story, had somehow lost the wonder of how amazing his life was. He had surrendered the sense of wonder in his life story to familiarity.
As I read I felt the Lord say to me, “It’s time for my children to reawaken and rediscover their sense of wonder. It’s time to replace familiarity with wonder and to be astonished again by life and by Me.”
As I talked more with the Lord about wonder, and the reasons that we need it in our lives, I felt a familiar stirring again of the questions that lead to discovery. Here’s some of what the Lord showed me as I processed this word through with Him.
Wonder is obviously important, otherwise the Lord wouldn’t have created us as beings who sense wonder. So why is that? What makes wonder important?
Wonder operates on three levels
Wonder operates on three levels in our life - the sensory, the cognitive and the spiritual.
Wonder is sensory – in moments of wonder our senses are heightened and engaged, often causing a momentary intake of breath and widened eyes as we take in the wonder we’re presented with. It causes a release of feel good chemicals and hormones into our body and brain.
Wonder is cognitive – it causes us to wonder, to be curious, to think about things that are beyond our current understanding.
Wonder is spiritual – wonder is an encounter with something that touches us on a spiritual level. It goes beyond merely the physical senses and emotions, beyond cognitive reasoning, to our spirit or heart being engaged in a way that causes us to experience reverence and awe, both for the creation and the creator (both Man and God). Wonder was given us to point us to the ultimate Creator and His part in our life and our world.
The ability to sense wonder is hard-wired into us as a part of being human and is an essential part of our humanity. Part of the reason for that is that we were created to be ‘fed’ or ‘ministered to’ by wonder and beauty. Wonder works in our life in wonderful ways – it ignites our sensory, cognitive and spiritual senses, releasing essential energy to us; it sparks gratitude and feel good chemicals and hormones. Wonder is a critical part of curiosity, creativity, and problem solving. It sparks our curiosity, and is often a doorway which leads us to a pathway of exploration, discovery, and sometimes invention.
We must have wonder in our lives; without it our soul and spirit become jaded and we enter a place of depleted energy, we lose joy, and sometimes even become depressed.
Areas where we can lose our wonder
If having a healthy sense of wonder is this important then we need to value, nurture and protect it. Some of the areas we may have lost our wonder in are…
The wonder of God being a part of our life, our journey, our story. The amazing, almighty God has chosen to have a personal relationship with us. How awesome is that! Yet, sadly, it’s easy for us to lose our sense of wonder about that. Or maybe we still have some sense of wonder about the relationship, but it’s dimmed. If either of these is true of us then it doesn’t have to stay like that; our sense of wonder in our relationship with the Lord can be restored. It’s important that we keep that sense of wonder because the story of God in our life is our testimony. If we lose the sense of wonder at His involvement in our life it will affect our testimony, it will affect the way others see our relationship with the Lord.
The wonder of love. It is very easy to slide from wonder into a place of familiarity with those we love – our family and our friends, even our workmates. Remember the times when you were in wonder at this incredible person in front of you – the feeling of wonder and love that welled up in you when you looked at them or spoke to them. Time and familiarity can dampen that sense of wonder, but it can be restored.
Wonder at the complexity and beauty of the natural world. How often do we see the colours of a sunset and say “That’s a nice sky tonight’ then move straight back to what we were doing.
The wonder of discovery. When was the last time you were stopped in your tracks by a discovery you made – that moment of discovery when you realised something momentous or important, that breakthrough in thinking that led to a problem being solved, or the discovery of learning how to do something.
The wonder of creativity and learned skills. Maybe we need to re-establish wonder in the area of our own, or others’, creativity or learned skills. I am often ‘blown-away’ at others’ creative genius, or their ability to do things that I cannot. Take a moment to wonder at the creativity and brilliance of that sculptor, inventor, marketing genius, accountant, chef, mother, teacher, carpenter when you encounter them through their work.
As a part of processing this through with the Lord I asked Him if He wanted to do the work of re-awakening wonder in His children. Surprisingly He said “No”, and that He didn’t want to do that because it wasn’t His responsibility, it was ours. He said that it was part of the responsibility given to mankind in giving them wonder, and that maintaining and nurturing our sense of wonder is our responsibility.
As part of my processing with Him He led me to the following quote by Candace Pert, who pioneered the research into endorphins. She says this about our participation in how we feel: “You’re a very active participant in how good you feel, it’s a scientific fact. Our physiology is perfectly designed for bliss and this perfection is dynamic, so taking responsibility for your own health is important.”
But even though the responsibility for re-awakening our sense of wonder is ours, the Lord is amazingly good, kind and generous. He has provided ahead of time and has equipped us already with all we need to re-awaken and nurture our sense of wonder, and He will work with us in doing so. He will provide opportunities for wonder, He will be with us in those wonder moments as we experience them with Him. He will encourage us to follow our curiosity, knowing what we will discover, and celebrating those discoveries with us, and He will cheer us on every step of the way as we discover again the delight of childlike wonder.
How do we re-establish and cultivate wonder in our lives?
Recognise that we have lost it. This is the first step to regaining our wonder. Wonder is something that we need to value and nurture. Maybe your sense of wonder has become jaded, dulled by life’s pressures, busyness or familiarity. Our sense of wonder can be regained and re-established with some work on our part, and of course it will take ongoing nurturing of it to keep us from losing it again.
Repent for allowing it to become jaded and determine to nurture and develop it again. Come into agreement with Him about how amazing and essential a sense of wonder is in your life and determine that you will treasure and nurture it.
Recognise the stirrings of wonder and give them attention. We need to place value on our feelings of wonder and give them our attention. Those feelings of wonder are there for a reason, they are alerting us to something that we need to pay attention to. There are many times in our days when wonder knocks quietly at our heart and waits to be noticed. Usually we make a barely noticed, and often split-second, decision to brush the feeling aside because we are concentrating on something else. Wonder isn’t pushy, it will give way to other things if we don’t recognise it and give it our attention.
Choose to stop and be present in in the moment. That means giving our attention to that moment, recognising the feelings of wonder and allowing ourselves to fully feel them. Most of the things we’re doing won’t suffer unduly if we take a minute or so to be really present in our wonder. When we do, it will reconnect us to this incredible life that we get to live in ways that will enrich us and feed our soul and spirit.
Allow time for wonder. Wonder is cultivated by ‘allowing time’ for wonder. Make time to think about the things that have caused a feeling of wonder to emerge in you. This making time to wonder is important as it can take you on a journey that may start at a certain point of wonder and lead you to other wonders, gratitude, and to discovery, which leads to our next point.
Allow your curiosity to be reawakened. Wonder makes you wonder; it arouses curiosity, which leads to questions, some of which may be answerable and some not. Allowing a state of wonder to lead you to curiosity and questioning is a vital part of wonder. It is critical for creativity and problem solving. That reason alone is a good one for nurturing and protecting our sense of wonder.
It’s time for wonder to be re-awakened and re-established in our lives. If your wonder has become jaded or seems to be lost, I pray that the Lord will help you to rise up and begin to establish a sense of wonder afresh in your life, and that it would become a wellspring of life and joy to you and to those around you!
This prophetic word was published by Elijah List http://elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=21225
Lyn is recognised as a Prophet within New Zealand and other nations she’s ministered in. Her ministry is revelatory and catalytic, propelling people into encounter with God. The governmental prophetic gift she carries is expressed through prophetic, revelatory insight and strategy, prophetic words (personal, corporate and national), teaching, art, and writing. Click here for more info...