The breathless enthusiasm in his 6-year old voice was inescapable. His non-stop play-by-play, color commentary lasted for nearly 20 minutes.
You see, it was his first time on a plane.
Unlike the rest of us in first class, this was not a hardened frequent flyer equipped with noise cancelling head phones and mind absorbing tablets.
He actually looked out the window.
And we all got to hear what he saw as he described it to his father in vivid detail.
“Daddy, daddy…we’re moving…we’re backing up…whoa, we’re going faster…look daddy, we’re leaving the ground—we’re going up! Oh wow, daddy, the cars are getting smaller…the buildings are shrinking…daddy, are those clouds? We’re up in the clouds!”
On and on and on it went.
What the rest of us had seen so often that we no longer noticed was so new to his eyes that he just had to express his amazement at this radical new phenomenon called flying.
What struck me was this: he was looking out the same windows as everyone else but seeing something totally different. Why?
He was experiencing wonder.
It could have been annoying but instead it was incredibly entertaining. Before long, the entire section was laughing and experiencing that same wonder vicariously through eyes that were young again.
Wonder is simply finding the wow in the now.
It is so easy when we are young. But the ability seems to fade with age. Or maybe it is the first thing in us to die.
Life seems to drain the amazement factor from us. What should create awe simply causes a yawn. We are too captive to living to be captivated by life.
We desperately need a new approach to the everyday. A way to recover the wonder, the amazement, the “wow” of the astonishing ordinary.
But how? How do we escape the vortex of routine and the whirlpool of monotony to once again allow the hidden marvels of the daily to take our breath away?
Here is what I’m trying:
Eat slowly enough to taste the flavor. And I’m not just talking about food. We ingest so much every day. Words. Pictures. Sounds. Experiences. The stuff of life is our staff of life. Yet we too often wolf them down like famished vagabonds at a desert oasis. Life in the fast lane often becomes life at a dead end.
Wonder is renewed when we slow down enough to savor the zest of life’s feast.
Embrace vulnerably enough to feel the joy. Holding life in your arms and absorbing all that it offers is risky business. When we draw life to ourselves and really attempt to feel its essence, it can hurt. A lot! But if we don’t embrace its difficulties we will ignore its pleasures and miss its charms.
Wonder is recovered when we get close enough to squeeze delight out of life’s breath.
Examine closely enough to see the fingerprints. God’s fingerprints. Let’s not analyze the daily with the detachment of a scientist, but explore it with the devotion of a lover. We need to see the detail and texture of our dailyness. Only then will we find the residual impressions, the forensic evidence that the finger of God has been there.
Wonder is restored when we open up enough to view the signs of life’s Source.
Regaining awe in the rub and reality of living is so worth it, because…life is Wonder Full.