Mirm in Wonderland
There are so many childhood fairy tales that have hidden meanings if we look for them. Sometimes they are there intentionally as in Narnia and sometimes perhaps there are just lessons that can be applied to our own story like a parable. I love both kinds of tales and the secret lands that I find myself in as I read them. One of my favorites is the story of a young and curious girl named Alice who follows a white rabbit down a hole and finds herself in another world called Wonderland. Alice begins a journey of a lifetime in this new world where normal rules don’t apply and where there are many interesting characters. I think of this adventure as a parable of the Christian life. I won’t go into all the similarities but I can sum it up briefly by pointing out that Alice wants more so she pursues the White Rabbit just as I desire more life within and pursue Christ in this new world that is so similar to the “real world” and yet is so opposite (ie. the looking glass makes everything backward). And the kingdom of heavens rules often make no sense at all from the world’s perspective. They are just “nonsense”! As Alice makes her way through Wonderland she grows as a person. From a frightened little girl to a young woman who matures as a result of her adventures. I could go on, but the point of this analogy is to focus on one tiny thing and that tiny thing is a word. The word is Wonder. And the place is Wonderland. I often wonder and am curious about this wonderful place where we will live forever called heaven.
Happy Heaven Day Jim! We remember this day and you and we miss you. But, do you celebrate such things?
I often wonder what heaven is like. I have an idea in my head and I am so sure that I will be startled at how small and how inaccurate my concept is. I wonder how far it is from here and what kind view you have of us from wherever it is that you are. I wonder if you think of me and yet I know that you must be cheering us on since you joined the great cloud of witnesses.
I cannot help but wonder what you are doing today. Have you played trombone, guitar or have you learned a new instrument to worship and praise God? Are you perfecting a new magic trick or performing with puppets? Joy is the serious business of heaven according to CS Lewis. Did you laugh at a joke? Or, did something tickle you in just the right way that you couldn’t stop giggling and guffawing until your sides and cheeks ached.
I wonder what life would have been like if you were still here. Would we have written that book we always talked about? Would Emily be almost finished with college? Would Clayton have finished his baseball park goal? Would we have taken vacations or bought a new car or a house?
There is such a sense of wonder when I consider how deep and high and wide the love of God is and I marvel that our minds cannot begin to grasp the vastness the creativity and the grace of God. And I am sure that it just gets even more humbling from heaven’s standpoint since you have an even more realistic perspective.
The Bible says:
Many, LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare. Ps 40:5
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted. Job 5:9
“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.” Prov. 30:18-20
These verses from Proverbs state that there are four things that are very wonderful, and yet, mysterious: how an eagle flies, how a serpent slithers, how a ship sails, and how a man and woman are attracted to one another. We all wonder at times why things are the way they are. The only, and final answer is that God created them to act this way. God’s creation is truly amazing and we can learn many things by observing it.
Wonder defined is to feel surprised or amazed. It is the curiosity to know and learn something; it is a cause of astonishment or excited admiration. What is it exactly to hold something in awe? For me, it is something I feel and something I see…
It is the sunset on a beach so routine yet each one unique.
It is the unexpected blessings that show up every day and the grace that startles me along the journey.
It is the reality of forgiveness both received and given. It is the curiosity of a place called heaven. It is in laughter of children and the look in their eyes when they experience something new. It is the growth of a person into someone so much better and stronger than I used to know.
It is the gift of friendship and time shared. It is the confidence that no matter what there is someone who cares.
It is the marvel of adventure both spontaneous and planned; it is the pride of a parent watching their young one doing something special and grand.
It is the remembering a touch or a kind word that lasts and the feeling lingers long after the person has passed.
It is learning to listen to God’s voice still and small. It is choosing to find joy and hope in all.
No matter where life takes me I never want to lose that sense of wonder.
I look forward and wonder. with awe. with hope. joyfully.