Wisdom Stands Amazed
We have developed a rhythm lately. For those who know Wyndham well, rhythm does not come to him naturally. (He may have been known to clap or dance to the beat of a different drummer.) However, the kind of rhythm I am meaning concerns the repetition of daily tasks (on purpose) that were once done without thought. Now, all activities—eating, sleeping, moving (really, everything) take strategic forethought. After much practice (as in learning to play an instrument) we have developed a rhythm for the essentials of daily life that works—at least for now. Because life repeats these same rhythms day after day, it’s easy to let life become routine. Since there is no more travel, nor going out for activities—the rhythm is much the same each day. Though circumstances may be different, I venture to say we are not alone in the temptation to let life become routine. It’s far too easy to miss the wonder that each day brings, even amidst challenges.
What kind of “wonder” is found in daily difficult and challenging circumstances you may ask. If you don’t ask, I have certainly asked this question. At the beginning of this year, I chose a Scripture that I would strive to remember and put into practice each day–Mark 10:32. Earlier in this chapter, Jesus is pursued by crowds and (per his custom) teaches them. Pharisees then come and test him with questions about divorce, and next, his disciples try to send children away. Jesus not only calls the children back but corrects the disciples. He then confronts the materialist heart of a rich man and promises the disciples that they will receive abundant spiritual blessings for that which they give up. As we reach verse 32, Jesus is headed to Jerusalem, where he knows he will face death.
They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. (Mark 10:32)
Originally, I had picked this verse because I thought it meant that those who followed close to Jesus were amazed, while those who followed further behind were afraid. While there is much truth in this application, the verse refers to Jesus’ disciples, who had been walking with him, as being both amazed and afraid. They were amazed at Jesus’ life, his teachings, his boldness, his love, his promises, and also his courage—as he was walking toward suffering. However, the fear likely arose because they were walking with him toward suffering.
No matter what I may be experiencing or anticipating, it’s normal to feel some fear—but it is far better to stay amazed with Jesus! Within the rhythm of each day there is so much to be amazed by—I just must remember to see it. When the rhythm of our life becomes routine, even when it’s busy and exciting we can cease to be amazed with Jesus. We then lose faith. Every day I try to purposely notice and acknowledge the vastness of creation, from the stars to the intricacies of the spider web which I need to sweep off of the ceiling. I marvel at the breeds of dogs at the dog park across the street and the flock of thirty-plus wild turkeys around the corner. I am humbled to see new life, remembering my neighbor who just brought her new baby home. I am amazed at hearts that I see changing around me because of the power of the Word of God and the power of persistent love. I see the sunset, and sometimes the sunrise and it’s not only gorgeous, but never the same. I’m currently reading a book on Science and the Bible that blows my mind as I learn more about the majesty of God. I see “Godincidences,” which some might call coincidences in many areas. Most amazingly, I (we) feel peace that passes human understanding and joy that no one can take. If I don’t intentionally stand amazed, then fear can waft in.
When I stand amazed, my rhythm becomes anything but routine. For when I believe, I see the wonder of God at work, such as Jesus told Mary in John 11:40 (NRSV).
4Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
What amazes you? Life becomes anything but routine when we stand amazed—and watch and wait in expectation as we observe God at work. Wisdom stands amazed. Fear sits forgetful.
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. (Psalm 5:3)