By Rev. Brandon Nagel, Senior Minister
Recently, Sara and I took our girls, Harper and Hayden, to St. Louis to go to the zoo and visit a few other places in the city. Our two year old, Harper was so very excited to go on a trip and we had a wonderful time visiting new places and having new experiences. As we were coming home, Sara and I talked about what we enjoyed most and it was then that I realized that what was truly the most fun for me was getting to watch my two year old experience so much for the very first time. Watching her play in the children’s museum and the sense of wonder that was inspired in her as she explored reminded me of the power that our sense of wonder can have over us.
It made me realize that in many ways, I had lost my ability to gaze in wonder toward my experiences in the world. I would look at things that were truly wonders of nature as if they were the most common vision. Until I was standing close to the polar bears and heard Harper look at this massive bear not more than four feet in front of her say, “Wow.” I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I was able to look at something going on in the world around me and just marvel at the beautyof it. So, I made a commitment to do exactly that. I declared to myself that I was going to take time to wonder at the world again and feel grateful for it. We talk a lot in Unity about the power of gratitude and how gratitude serves as the great multiplier. Simply taking the time to find wonder in the natural world around us and marvel at it helps connect with that power of gratitude within.
As I took the time to do this over the past week, what I realized was that my taking the time to look at the world around me in wonder was that I had seen the same pattern in how I related to the Christ presence within. I had begun to lose my child-like sense of wonder with God and simply through taking the time to reconnect with the natural world and see the beauty and wonder of God in it, I was able to regain that ability to look at a manifestation of divine good in my life and simply say, “Wow, thank you, God.” It was through taking the time to stand on my deck in my backyard and watch hundreds if not thousands of fireflies light up the wooded area behind our house that I was able to again see the little blessings in my life and through reminding myself of those, I was reminded that the Christ within is supporting me in ways I had forgotten to pay attention to. Once, I made a conscious effort to see the wonder in the world around me and be grateful for it I found that I could reconnect with God and all of the blessings that were already present.
So, I would encourage you to reclaim your sense of wonder, find that little thing in your world that you can marvel at. Find that thing to look at in the natural world and simply say, “Wow, thank you, God!” and then watch as you become more aware of all the ways the Christ is blessing your life. At least, that’s been my experience.