Wonder Revealed; Big Sur & The Journey to Right Here.

This past year for my birthday I took a trip with dear friends to Big Sur, located off the Central Coast of Southern California. One of my very best friends (and trip planner extraordinaire) planned the most incredible birthday get-away I could have ever dreamed. Camping amongst the redwoods, exploring desolate trails leading to peaceful beaches filled with canyons, sunset picnics overlooking the Santa Lucia Mountains sprawling throughout the Pacific Ocean...just a snapshot of some of the single most awe-inspiring sights I have ever seen.  There are no words to describe it, the most prominent feeling I can remember while looking around at these beautiful sights is that of an overwhelming sense of wonder. One of those experiences where you cannot deny the existence of He who created it all. Where you see the intricacies of creation in a way which allows you to pause, look around, and think, 'I am not the point.'  Where you are led to a place of genuine gratitude to be right there, in that very moment, with those dear friends, surrounded by the beauty of creation.

{Wonder: Feel admiration and amazement, marvel}

Understanding.  It’s not always something we are granted in the end. There are those open-ended situations, where it feels like that which was 'undone' has forever left a hole inside of us, or the potential of what 'could be' seems to consume our every thought. Our minds can’t comprehend the answers to the why’s of these things, and when memories begin to flood our minds, we will continue to find ourselves in a state of actively wondering

Wonder...but why?  The wondering of every case scenario, the constant questions we find ourselves continually asking.  The ‘what-if’ and the ‘if-only’ statements seem to play on constant repeat running rampant throughout our minds.  We often want to be anywhere but where we are in this very moment.

Wonder can take over our thoughts and lead us to an overwhelming unsettlement, because our mere wondering will never lead us to any kind of certainty. 

This kind of wondering is exhausting, it is the true mark of an over-thinker. To sit and wonder about the outcome of those things we simply can't control can be a true waste of our thought-life, leading us down a path which will ultimately not help us move forward or rest.

{Wonder/verb: desire or be curious to know something}

Our wonder, when rooted in an attempt to solve the unsolvable or understand that which we have not yet been entrusted to understand, is doubt…disguised.  This wonder, is wonder as a verb or an action. Think about all the time you spend wondering. Think about where this action of wondering has taken you. What starts as a mere thought or daydream, quickly takes on its very own journey inside of your mind, before you know it that wondering has taken on a life of it's own, leading your thoughts into a downward spiral which leaves you having to force yourself back to reality, right where you started.  I don't know about you, but this wonder always seems to take me down a path of deep hurt, regret, comparison, insecurity, doubt, shame, guilt…the list goes on.  'I should have done this differently.'  'Maybe things would have been different if.' 'I said too much.' 'I said to little.'  Sound familiar? 

Wonder, in the same sense is one of the characteristics of our creator I love most.  His wonder is so grand, because it is beyond our comprehension.  His works are wondrous, but why?  They are wondrous because His actions have our best interest in mind.  He is for us, and our good is constantly on His radar.  We doubt God’s sovereign plan every time we waste our precious moments wondering how things might have been or what things might be today, 'if-only'.  His wonder is not an action, it is who He is, His character is Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God.  

We continue to re-visit that which we have been freed from when we sit and participate in the active thought-life of wonder.   When we dwell on those things we haven't been granted the understanding of, we welcome that doubt, which can easily start to control our actions.  We are without rest when we sit in the spin of suspicion of the ‘if only’.  Our wonder can be detrimental and it is ultimately a lack of trust. His wonder is rooted in love, our good and His glory.  His works are wondrous, His ways are perfect, they can be trusted.  

Science, theology, creation, humanity, His power, all these things encompass the wonder of God...

He is wonderful, because He created it all.  Our ability to understand the circumstance doesn't even touch His ability to carry out His ultimate plan. Wonder has a name, and it is Jesus.  

{Wonder/noun: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar or inexplicable.}

There are those things we were never meant to understand, but that's where trust comes in.  We have certainly been promised the ability to trust in the wonder of our creator.  He made the sprawling seas, yet tells them when to stop at the shore...why is it so hard for us to believe that He has control over our situation?  

For me, it's in nature where I see the wonder of God.  It's in the sprawling of the ocean or the creeping of the sun rising to light up the world where I am overwhelmed by wonder.  It is in a trip to Big Sur, or Portland, down the street at the park, over a cup of coffee with a friend who knows you better than anyone...or you fill in the blank.  Sometimes we go too long without taking a break from our self centered wondering thoughts to sit in the midst of the wonder of our creator.

His wonder reflects His glory, our wonder can often doubt His good.  Do you see the difference?  

Wonder...why? Wonder because it keeps us on our knees, because it keeps our gaze upward and our eyes fixed on that which is greater than our own story.  Don't wonder to try to arrive at a solution, or reconcile, or justify...but see wonder, because it is in the midst of this wonderment that we are brought back to a place of inexplicable peace.  

Where is your place to see wonder?  Where is it that your heart is ignited and your gaze turned upward?  Go.  Find that place.  Be consumed by the kind of wonder which will ignite a passion inside of you to run from the bondage of your self centered thoughts.  Meditate on the one who created it all, He who is wonder.  He is before all, in all, through all and above it all and His ways can be trusted.  

It is when we sit and see His power through that which we cannot comprehend that we are brought to a place of gratitude to be right here in this very moment, and we begin to see a little more clearly that not only are we not the point, but this moment is right where we are meant to be...