Re-Kindling Wonder

A book I recommend is Warren Weirsbe’s Real Worship (Nashville: Oliver Nelson Books, 1986). In it Weirsbe writes about the wonder of wonder.

“Wonder is the basis of worship,” Thomas Carlyle. 

“Wonder is the seed of science,” Emerson. 

“Philosophy begins with wonder,” Alfred North Whitehead.

But while wonder is a priceless ingredient in life, wonder is a rare ingredient. It seems to be missing from our age of explanations and it is certainly missing from much of our worship.

“The church today is imperiled by what it thinks it understands. Most preaching focuses on explaining something and neglects to admit the things that cannot be explained,” Warren Weirsbe.

“Worship is the exercise of the mind in the contemplation of God in which wonder and awe play an important part in stretching and enlarging our vision, or in opening up our conceptual forms to take in that which by its nature far outruns them,” T.F. Torrance.

True wonder is not a passing emotion or shallow excitement. It reaches into your heart and mind and shakes you up.

“It is an encounter with reality – with God – that brings awe to your heart. You are overwhelmed with an emotion that is a mixture of gratitude, adoration, reverence, fear – and love,” Warren Weirsbe.

Wonder is not born of ignorance. The more we know, the more overwhelmed we become, but where has our God-given sense of wonder gone? Perhaps it was lost when we discovered science with its recipe for everything. Maybe God was replaced by a formula. True science, or course, thrives on wonder. Albert Einstein wrote in his book, The World As I See It, “The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. He who knows it not, can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle.”

So let me call for a return to wonder. We need a new emphasis on the mystery of things. The Apostle Paul understood this when he wrote “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:33, ESV). We need to recapture a childlike wonder and humility in our age!

 

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