I wonder. And I don't just mean that as in "I am confused about..." Instead I mean it in the sense of "I am filled with wonder at..."
Just the other day I woke up early and took a little peek out my bedroom window, feeling joy at seeing a clear blue sky. I went downstairs to begin making breakfast for my family when I realized that I couldn't see the tree in the front yard because of the thick fog. Puzzled, I went back upstairs and saw a clear blue sky. Downstairs the fog was so thick I could barely see out the window. And I was filled with wonder.
As you know, we often use wonder in the sense of questioning, but it really is a deeper word than that. It describes that feeling of surprise caused by something beautiful or unfamiliar. There is a hint of admiration within it. In other words, it is a demonstration of our sense of appreciation, combined with a sense of humility.
It is no wonder that Jesus said “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
I don't think he was praising their naivete, or their innocence. I think he was encouraging our sense of wonder. Too often we lose this sense of wonder, our ability to be in awe, as we grow up, for we no longer pay attention to the unfamiliar little things around us.
The other day, over another breakfast, my little boy and I had a nice conversation. It went something like this.
Me: Oh, but He does.
Shoghi: He does? I don't hear Him.
Me: Oh yes, Shoghi. He speaks to you right here, right now, but He does not speak to your ears, like I do.
Shoghi: Then how does He speak?
Me: He speaks to you when a butterfly lands on a flower. He speaks to you every time a deer nibbles on the grass across the street. He speaks to you when the sunbeams shine through the clouds. Every time you see something that makes your heart happy, that is when God is speaking to you. God speaks to make your heart happy, not your ears.
His sense of wonder seemed to grow at that moment. He became more joyous, more upbeat, happier. He began to look at the world in a slightly different way. Instead of just exploring everything that came his way with his mind, he seemed to become more childlike, with a deeper appreciation of the beauty of everyday little miracles.
And isn't that the true beauty of it? When we can see that touch of the miraculous in every day things, recognize the tiny blessings that adorn our world, aren't we truly appreciating the world around us? That is the simple way to be a child of heaven: through gratitude, wonder and awe.
"At every moment", says Baha'u'llah in His mystical work, The Seven Valleys, "(the traveller) beholdeth a wondrous world, a new creation, and goeth from astonishment to astonishment, and is lost in awe at the works of the Lord of Oneness."
Mead Simon is a member of the Baha'i world community. He lives with his family in Victoria and can be regularly found writing his blog at www.onebahai.blogspot.ca.
You can read more from our Interfaith blog, Spiritually Speaking HERE