Why We Must Wonder
By Patrick Minor of Des Moines, IA, USA
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ-dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. —Colossians 3:12–17 NRSV
We experience what we call life from an incredibly unlikely home—a watery rock with enough mass to hold onto an atmosphere of elemental gases, hurtling around an enormous, continually-exploding ball of fusing hydrogen atoms at just the precise distance to neither evaporate nor completely freeze.
We are such a rarity in this seemingly infinite void of chaotic formation and destruction. Our lives are complex manifestations of these same chaotic formations and destructions. Our genes are unconscious scientists which somehow give rise to conscious beings.
With this collective knowledge gathered from the sum of all stories and human experiences, how could we not be drawn to anything but wonder? If we had uninterrupted universal freedom to sit in comfort, all our physical and emotional needs met, perhaps then we, as a species, could be led by boundless wonder and exploration.
Yet, the insane idea of the value of empire and conquest persists. For an empire to be sustained there must be oppression, violence against a vulnerable population. There must also be a complacent population guilty of silence and inaction against atrocities wrought against their neighbors. This complacency is sold as freedom, but it is just violence of another sort. There is no freedom while oppression persists. Either freedom is universal, or it is injustice.
If your heart has trembled at the utter vastness and fragility of its own existence; if you have quaked with wonder while looking at the night sky; if you have stood in the presence of a brand new human being—a recycled, reordered, and unimaginably complex child formed from the same cosmic solar matter—then you know the world’s way of wonder, a wonder and curiosity so strong that fear has no permanent home on this watery rock during this time called life.
God is with us.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Ordinary time is a season for awakening to God’s presence in all the details and circumstances of our everyday, ordinary lives. Wherever you are, pay attention to your surroundings. Allow yourself to be fully present for a time with whatever is before you. Where do you sense God with you right now exactly where you are?
How does today’s story invite you to discover God in the realities of your everyday life?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.