This reflection is based on ‘Gift of Wonder’ by Rev. Alfred McBride, O. Praem. It is a slight adaption of his piece. (THE PRIEST, Oct. 1987, p.26)
I wonder if each Advent God gives me a chance to discover a deeper level of wonder and mystery. Perhaps God asks us to shed another level of awareness, wake from another dream and come alive to the vision and purpose of God’s plans for me and for the wider world.
As we progress through the years, it becomes harder to discover the beauty of wonder if we are not careful. As children we had a sense of wonder. Our eyes were wide open and drinking in the fascinating gifts we beheld. Our thirsty souls could not have enough of the wonders of creation.
Then, somehow, we grew too old to dream. I am. It sure whether it is cynicism or disappointment that causes us to lose the ability to be awed, to be speechless at possibility. Perhaps we tired of the abundance of the world, or at maybe we grew weary of keeping up with the feast of life, and stepped away from the banquet. Maybe tiredness kills possibility? Maybe, in the words of Les Mis, life can sometimes kill the dreams we dream? It should not be so, but I think that sometimes it is.
The natural gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to last a lifetime. We should not allow ourselves to give up on mystery. We should learn to dive into it, I think. Instead we let wonder go to sleep. We entered the typical dream state of most humans. But we were born to be alive, not to sleep our way through life.
Why else does Jesus tell us today, ‘Stay awake!’
Advent says, ‘Wake up and realize the gifts of love you have received.’
Popular culture tells us to let go, but Christian faith invites us to wake up. In both cases there is a withdrawal from the busyness of daily life (our dream state) and a waking up to the subconscious and spiritual depths of ourselves. There is a waking up to what the world is really like, Who God is, who we are, and what God is doing in the world.
In what ways, I wonder, can I open my eyes again in wonder?
(C) Malcolm J. Duncan (Advent 2019)