Do you feel like you’re viewing life in shades of gray rather than vibrant color? It is so easy to lose our sense of wonder when life becomes dull and routine! I love the line in Leanne Womack’s song that says, “I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.” In order to still feel small when you stand in the ocean, you have to grow still and stand in the ocean! Of course, we have to work, we have to live, but how can you make a conscious effort to create time to be still and experience wonder? There are three things I think we can do to experience wonder and get back to seeing life in brilliant color!
#1 Slow Down
I believe one of the main reasons that we lose our sense of wonder in life is because we get so busy. We are in a hurry every day and every where we go! We live in a time when people are doing more and more things, so we try to pick up the pace. We study time-management, we have our calendars and smart phones, so we can cram as much as possible into one day! I sometimes wonder if we’re actually missing the very thing we’re after and that’s the experience of life. To experience a sense of wonder and awe, you have to have those moments when you slow down, when you grow still, so you can look into the Heavens.
#2 Break out of your routine
Secondly, I feel like it’s because we’re so busy that you and I get into routines that lead to repetitiveness and leave us feeling in a rut! There’s no question that familiarity dulls the sense of wonder, when you do the same thing the same way over and over again we’re so busy we live our routines and it dulls our sense of wonder. Do you ever open your eyes and experience a little something new or something in a different way? It was Thoreau who said our lives are frittered away by detail. That’s worth thinking about: our lives are frittered away by detail. You grow familiar and dull rather than being open to experience things.
I’ve been doing funerals for 45 years now and even after all this time, when the service is over and I get in my car, I always think, a rut is nothing but a grave with both ends knocked down. I’ve been given the gift of this moment. I’ve been given the gift of life. Am I grateful? Am I living it? Am I open to experience the wonder of God in this moment? Or am I so busy, have I gotten into such a routines that I miss it? Am I already in that grave? Lots of people are dead long before we bury them. It’s easy to get into that rut, that routine, to be dead to the wonder of life, the gratitude for what life is.
#3 Take Risk
Third, I believe quite often it is fear that kills our sense of wonder. In fact, I think you and I get so busy and set in our routines because it feels safe and comfortable. What would it be like if we step back and ask, what is God calling me to do with my life right now, whether I’m starting middle school or whether I’m in the middle of retirement, what’s God calling me to do with my life?
In order to follow God’s call on your life, you may have to take risk and be in situations that make you anxious, but it is those very situations that make your heart race and make you feel alive because you are doing what God is calling you to do! Why is it that we don’t stand in the ocean and feel small? Well, good Lord there may be sharks there! We’re not gonna stand in the ocean. But why don’t we go up on the mountain to see the incredible beauty? Well I could fall coming down. Why don’t you go ride a horse out west to enjoy the sunset? Well I could get thrown. Why don’t you paddle your canoe down the river? It could dump over. What do you do that makes your heart race? Whatever it is that God calls you to do, if you allow yourself to follow God, you’ll probably have to risk, it will make you anxious in some way, but it will also make you feel alive and that’s when you will no longer see life as shades of gray, but full of vibrant, bold colors!