"To pray is to take notice of the wonder, to regain a sense of the mystery that animates all beings, the divine margin in all attainments.
— Abraham Joshua Heschel quoted in Finding Your Own Spiritual Path by Peg Thompson
In A Season in the Desert, W. Paul Jones, a former Methodist minister who is now a Trappist monk, presents a thought-provoking overview of the Christian faith as a pilgrimage based on the sacralization of time. In this excerpt, he gets at the heart of the spiritual practice of wonder:
"As I have mentioned, my spiritual director, a hermit, once smiled at me and concluded: 'The difference between the two of us is that, while life for me is a matter of passing through, for you it is a matter of drinking deeply of everything along the way.' True. I do not want to miss the aroma of even one wild strawberry along the path. That is, I want to live deeply in time in all its manifold richness.
"Perhaps it was because I was younger then, but I often remember an experience with an Atlanta elevator. At a conference in a hotel there, some friends suggested that as an 'adventure' I ride with them in a glass elevator to the top. Slowly it rose, as I took in the gothic-like panorama beneath: of water features, plants, chandeliers, and colorful people of all kinds. Suddenly we burst through the roof into momentary darkness, then into a glass tube, where stretching out in all directions were the lights of Atlanta's skyline and above it, the trek of endless stars. While still mesmerized, we penetrated through a floor into a sphere at the top. And as the doors opened, a friendly voice, with a warm handshake, bid us come and eat.
"That night, at a table slowly rotating above the glittering city below, we told stories of past, present, and future. That was when I knowingly celebrated for the first time that I was a joyful denizen of time. Even the infinite space all around was bathed in time. Just that morning I had read that an astronomer had perceived a quark twelve billion light-years hence. Staggered by it all, that night I toasted the God of time, drinking thankfully for being alive in all of time's multifarious intersections."
Share a story of some experience, event, or person that aroused or renewed your sense of wonder.
Check-out/Likes and Wishes
"In the muddled mess of this world, in the confusion and boredom and amazement, we ought to be able to spot something — an event, a person, a memory, an act, a turning of the soul, the flash of bright wings, the surprise of sweet compassion — somewhere we ought to pick out a glory to celebrate."
— Samuel H. Miller in The Dilemma of Modern Belief
To Practice This Thought: Identify something glorious and celebrate it!