The Depths of Wonder

I am continually struck by how little we know of God’s ways. Our unknowing is so large, it is incomprehensible. So we go with what we know and pretend that we know a lot.

It’s similar to when we flick the light switch and feel good that the light actually came on. We know how to operate the switch, but most of us know so little about or are so minimally aware of, how the light actually went on.

We don’t think about the science of how the electricity is generated, how it is transmitted, how it is controlled, or how it is converted to the heat that provides light. We don’t think about the chain of people and events involved in the production of the light bulb, the lamp, the switch, the house wiring, the transformers, the utility poles, the transmission wires, the generators, and on and on. In short, we take it for granted because as a matter of “thought economy” we don’t have the capacity to think in that depth about our every action and everything that we see around us.

This “thought economy” also causes us to lose our sense of wonder, our appreciation of mystery. We come to take things for granted. And in taking things for granted, we lose our appreciation for them. And in losing our appreciation for them, we miss being thankful for them.

Some families include in their table graces a far-reaching thanksgiving for those who toiled to make the meal possible. The thought reaches well before the final preparation and serving of the meal. It reaches all the way back to the person who planted the seed that wound up as corn on the plate or cared for the cow that produced the milk in the glass.

It is helpful to have this kind of awareness, without all the detail overwhelming our consciousness, of everything around us. As we look at our family, our friends, every man-created thing and every nature-created thing around us, it is humbling to be aware of all that went into providing those blessings to us, and how little we are aware of the complexity of their creation.

How can we not be thankful? It is all gift. Regardless of the extent of our toil, we played a minuscule role in those blessings coming to us. And when we consider the enormous detail behind every individual thing in creation, we become aware that regardless of whether we have little or much, it is all abundance.

There is a single origin that we often overlook. Behind every single thing, behind every minute detail, is God. It all comes back to Him. It all originates with Him. How can we not be thankful for his unfathomable abundance granted us so graciously? Easy, we take it for granted. We lose the wonder. His creative extravagance surrounds us every moment of our lives. As a result, we tend to lose awareness of the source of all that we have.

By choosing to maintain a God-consciousness throughout our lives the only appropriate response is to live in thanksgiving. Living in thanksgiving leads us to share as abundantly and freely as God gives to us. We also claim one of the greatest gifts God offers us, a spirit of abundance when we respond to His graciousness by living in thanksgiving.