I came across a passage that suggested that we should always “maintain a sense of wonder” in our lives. I love the idea of seeking wonder, or magic, in the mundane.
Life isn’t always about the things we have to do, and even when it is, that doesn’t preclude us from seeking the good and something special in every situation. This is important to recognize and acknowledge because there can be good everywhere and at any time. It’s simply about maintaining that sense of wonder.
I think, often, that we rush through our lives. We get so busy shuttling ourselves and our kids back and forth to so many activities and events that we often don’t stop to appreciate each of these experiences. We get so caught up in rushing around that we really don’t even consider what it is that we are going to and from. All we know is that we’re rushing and there is something more to do.
As I consider this, I’m not advocating doing less. That’s not in my nature or character. I can’t do less. (In fact, I’m always trying to do more.) But, I am suggesting that we add an element of attentiveness to the activities that we are participating in because when we do this, the activities become more meaningful.
Maintaining a sense of wonder (or looking for good in the mundane) isn’t easy to do:
– It isn’t easy to find the good as your kid is playing right field, and then striking out three times on a forty-two-degree day in early April.
– It isn’t easy to do when your child is struggling through word problems with a tutor.
– It isn’t easy to do when you are at one location and know you need to be somewhere else.
– And it isn’t easy to do when you have other obligations that are all screaming for your attention.
But I am saying that we should try, because there is always another perspective:
– That child playing right field is part of a team. That’s something special. She wears a uniform (or a t-shirt) that signifies that she’s on that team. That’s also something special. There is something good and valuable and wonderful about being on a team. And, while it seems that teams and games will be part of your child’s life (and your lives) seemingly forever, it’s not. It all ends, far too quickly.
– There’s also something special about struggling through any endeavor, even word problems. In the example above, watching a child struggle can be frustrating for a parent. But it is that very struggle that teaches the child such important life skills as perseverance and tenacity. And, when the child finally succeeds; well there is magic in that. That’s learning. Throughout that child’s life there will always be struggles and things he has to work through in order to understand. There is good there. When we take the time to maintain a sense of wonder, we remember and recognize that.
– As for the other obligations that are all screaming for our attention, the sad truth is, most often, they can wait. The text, the phone call, the e-mail…most often, they can wait. And there is a benefit to this because if we rid ourselves of unnecessary distractions, it allows us the space and time to maintain the sense of wonder in our lives and in our children’s lives.
And, when it comes to our children especially, there is so much wonder there, that our focus should always be on capturing it, gathering it, and cherishing all of it in our hearts!
Where will you find the wonder today?