Wonder

As I was waiting for my returning flight from St. Louis to Charlotte to take off, I noticed a little girl sitting across the aisle from me. She was looking out the window with all the intensity a three-year-old could muster as her mom pointed out the other planes taking off.

"Where do you think they're going?" she would ask.

"I don't know, mama!" the little girl would say. "But it looks like so much fun!"

When our plane started moving, I watched her eyes get real big as she took her mom's hand. "It's our turn! It's our turn! Here we go!"

We started down the runway and I could hear her giggling as we picked up speed. And as the wheels left the concrete, she let out the most joyful squeal I've ever heard in my life. It was the sound of pure delight, pure excitement at what seemed to her the most amazing adventure. She was totally unaware that people were watching her. She was lost in her wonder.

I don't know when I lost that sense of wonder. I've traveled a lot in my three decades. It's really no big deal anymore. Actually, it's become something of a hassle - canceled flights, maintenance delays, bad airplane food. I always look forward to the destination, but the journey is really just a necessary annoyance.

I can treat life that way, too. As an inconvenience. As a means to an end.  Always looking forward to the next big thing, but often forgetting that most of life happens in between the big things.

G.K. Chesterton once wrote, "Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, 'Do it again'; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, 'Do it again' to the sun; and every evening, 'Do it again' to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

Children understand a part of God that we grown-ups have long forgotten. They understand wonder.

As you go about your day and as I go about mine, let's remember what it was like to exult in monotony. Let's look for opportunities to delight in the journey. Let's recapture the sense of wonder that growing old left behind.