The Gift of Wonder
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The Gift of Wonder
Is it possible for today’s children to grow up with joy, peace, and a sense of wonder in their hearts? The answer to that depends on whether we can find those things in our adult lives. This world has so many things to surprise, inspire, depress, and enrage us. There is beauty beyond imagination and horror beyond belief. Human beings are capable of a million thoughts, actions, and emotions. A world of contrasts and contradictions face us every day. With the advent of mass communications, we can have all manor of conflict from anywhere in the world, brought right into our home. Children are being raised with nuclear threats, pictures of massive starvation, and multitudes of earthquake deaths from the far reaches of the earth. On the reverse side we have every new and coveted thing paraded through our lives on a daily basis. Our culture shouts that we deserve the biggest, the best, and of course, the most expensive of everything. We no longer gaze in wonder at the simple things in life because we are busy channel surfing or thumbing through Rolling Stone. Our kids’ eyes don’t light up when they receive a simple gift. They just want to know where the batteries go. Our culture has robbed them of the basic wonder of life itself. The underlying stuff of life has been covered with so many layers of trinkets, bells, whistles, and shiny things that we can no longer hear for the cacophony they create. Could the reason that we need radio, television, or noise of any kind, be that we just don’t want to face the quiet? What might we see if all the lights and sounds were placed in the “off” position? Could we hear the whisper of God? Perhaps we would see who we really are or, who we could have been. Are we living the dreams of our youth or did we settle for the world’s idea of what those dreams should be? Did we replace our hope for the future with the comforts of today? Did the parade pass us by or more likely, carry us away? Well, as the saying goes, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” We can reclaim the joys of the simple life. We can teach our children to wonder about, and dream of the nearly impossible? It may be complicated but it is do-able. We need to remove some of the world from their young lives. Read to them and teach them to read and love the classic stories that we loved. Don’t smother them with things, activities, and expectations, instead take them fishing, stargazing, and bird watching. Take them to church and teach them what the Bible says about life. Let them spend time with their grandparents who actually remember a world without computers and cell phones. Hug them often and listen to their dreams. This may not be the way you were raised, but by doing these things with your kids you will regain a sense of wonder, yourself. It is not too late, for your child or for you. The world will always be there, with all of its nonsense and super-sized everything. Your kids are only on loan for a short time before they drift into adulthood. Spend your time with them wisely and teach them about the truly important things of life and in the process you may pass the gift of wonder onto the next generation and awaken in yourself.
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