The Wonder Years

As children, wonder wasn’t just easy; our way of thinking was to wonder about everything around us, it was our natural thought flow. We were affluent in wonder.

Yet, now that we are adults we have responsibilities, disappointments and failures that have hardened us. We no longer live in a world where the floors are made of lava and we jump from couch cushion to couch cushion to save ourselves before bedtime or make up friends when we find ourselves without any. We now live in the real world where just getting out of bed in the morning is oftentimes a struggle and making friends can feel like a part-time job.

To wonder as an adult is a daily battle.

Author and Pastor Rob Bell says this about wonder: “At some deep level, whether from loss or expectations that were never fulfilled, we lost the ability to be surprised, to be filled with wonder and awe. Life has a way of beating it out of us and while we all want to be successful, what we really want is awe and wonder. That’s our real desire. To experience this awe as an adult we must become like children. 

While there is truth in what Bell shares, I do disagree in that I don’t think our ability to wonder is lost so much as it has been misplaced. We seem to have hung it on the coat rack of our childhood before walking out the door, but we must make our way back to her, we must return to her and cloak ourselves in her curiosity once more. It begins with a choice and works a lot like love. You choose it. After the thrill is gone, you choose to be thrilled; when beauty seems to fade you fight to continue to see it. It takes a conscious effort to decide that something is still what it once was when you first experienced it. I think it also takes an absorbent amount of positivity.

Maybe doubt occurs through wonder when it’s unused, un-sourced and un-tapped.

Don’t just see the glass half full, wonder about the waterfall it came from. I think wonder is always within us, resting in humankind. Though, if not used and put into motion, it expires and becomes something very different. Enter, doubt. Maybe doubt occurs through wonder when unused, un-sourced and un-tapped. Maybe it happens when we choose to respond to the surprises in life with shock, the beauty surrounding us with a mere shrug of our shoulders. Or perhaps it’s as subtle as staring at the blocks of cement below our feet ignoring wonders call, pushing it further and further away from us. Simply choosing to look up invites the possibility of wonder.

wonder

When we choose to exercise doubt, we disregard awe.

Push the pause button on doubt. Stop doubting yourself and the world around you. Begin wondering and allow yourself to rediscover. Choose to make the familiar unfamiliar. If you’ve become bored with your city, go on a walk in an area you haven’t spent a lot of time in. Observe the landscape and architecture while pondering the history that lay beneath your feet. If you’ve worked at the same job for years, walk in tomorrow and meet someone new. Really ask about their lives, wonder about who they are and the path that lead them here, next to you. Or if you work alone, the next time you’re at the grocery store ask the clerk how his day is going and if he knows what his name means. Invite others to wonder with you.

Wondering will make you a better human.

Bell does us a favor by reminding us to be more child-like. Children accept what they see and they trust their experience. There’s a wonderment we witness in every child who sees the ocean for the first time or lets a ladybug crawl up their arm. There is a newness that takes place within them and it trickles off onto the rest of us watching. Become like a child; children don’t doubt they experience. Put on new eyes every morning and try making every day your first day allowing those around you to watch. And if you still find yourself struggling with wonder, try hanging out with a child and experience the world through their eyes for a day.

As I contemplate the cosmos and the possibility that all of it was made with love for all of us, perhaps the wonder we experience in seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting is merely our response to that love. Perhaps wonder and love are in conversation with one another and are not separate experiences. Maybe wonder is simply our response to the beauty that surrounds us in this world.

Stephen Hawking reminds us to “look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist, be curious.” Look up. 

Creation is calling. What will your response be?

Images via Sara Tasker

Bridgette enjoys record players, dark chocolate and wrapping herself in quilts. Her favorite human is her grandfather and her favorite creature is a maltipoo who goes by the name Lucille Francine. She adores sculpting words into new ways of thinking with the hope of fostering encouragement for others and she is so grateful that a carpenter chose her long before she ever even knew Him.

10 COMMENTS
  • Gina March 5, 2015

    Your words beautifully write what I’ve been thinking. As I turn 30 this year I have made it my plan to sneak more beautiful and adventurous things in my life. Now I will make sure to slip some wonder in there too. Thanks for the inspiring words.

  • June Moore March 4, 2015

    Lovely article full of grace, wonder and passion. I am so proud of you. It is a cold snowy
    day in Missouri and I wish you were here at the island to observe and feel it with your words!
    June

  • Nikki March 4, 2015

    Such a GREAT reminder to all of us. I “hear” the voice behind these words — not just the words — and that is ultra-inspiring and encouraging. Thank you for writing this article!

  • Martha Flentge March 4, 2015

    Wow!!! Those words are so powerful and beautiful. I am a proud Momma. You did a wonderful writing honey. Love you:)
    Momma

  • Amanda March 4, 2015

    What a “wonder”-full post to read this morning. I am grateful for the fresh perspective and gentle reminder to let myself look at the world as a child does. Bridgette’s words build a readiness in me. I enjoy her musings and the way she makes her point so perfectly. And I feel compelled to change the way I’ve been experiencing existence. Thank you for your words and wisdom!

  • Bonnie March 4, 2015

    Calming, comforting. Necessary nutrition for a day that sucks the life out of me.

  • Bridgette Bassa March 4, 2015

    Dear ladies, thank you SO much for taking your time and giving it to me and the thoughtflow inspired here. Youth doesn’t have to be wasted on the young if we fight for wonderment and are able to care for moments that would have otherwise been taken for granted. x

  • Samantha March 4, 2015

    “Children don’t doubt they experience.” How true that is, and how easily we, as adults, lose sight of the importance of experiencing and wondering. I loved this post — it was a beautiful and timely reminder of the need to look up, look around, and focus on something other than our worries (even if it’s just for a little while).

    x Samantha
    https://splendorandforge.wordpress.com

  • Sharon March 4, 2015

    Bridgette, loved your vision for this post. The curiosity of childhood is what motivated me to start my current blog and something that I like to reinvent for my readers. Thanks for this!

  • Feyi A March 4, 2015

    amazing post, got me ready to take on my day! x

    Marveling-Mind?

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