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Our grandson, Henry, has found his first words.  (Actually, he is working on others now as well.)  But the first ones were, “Oh, Wow!”  And they are almost always accompanied by a little hand pointing at something — the picture of sheer delight and wonder.  The experience of watching him respond to the world around him has reminded me of some important truths:

All too often the journey into adulthood is one of accumulating cynicism.  The “Oh, Wow!” moments of delight and wonder give way to “Oh, Sure” moments of weary and wary distrust.  But the loss of delight and wonder is not a measure of sophistication.

A capacity for wonder is directly related to our ability to remain open, pliable, imaginative, and teachable.  An “Oh, Wow” moment can lead to discovery and growth.  An “Oh, sure” mindset knows everything it needs to know, forecloses on fresh insights, and judges the world from a single, suspicious point of view.

“Oh, Wow” moments also open us to the endless wonders that are an experience of God and God’s creation.  We live on the endless frontier that is the experience of One greater than us where there is always something new to learn and experience.  Wonder is at the heart of that experience, the engine of worship.  Cynicism reduces the world to a place of dry mechanics.

Henry’s first words have also reminded me of this: Not all wisdom comes with the passage of time.  It is not the exclusive (or inevitable) gift of aging.  And there are times when the wisest thing we can do is to embrace the lessons a child has to teach us.


3 Responses to “Oh, Wow!”

  1. Paul McKay says:

    Eloquently said, as always.
    You been jitterbugged at the blawg that is busy saving the world, BTW, God help you

  2. fwschmidt says:

    Always honored, Paul!

  3. Carol Lawson says:

    Dear Fred, How I loved this article on wonder. I had one of those “Oh, Wow” moments with my grandson this week. His first tooth to get loose and he was so excited he was telling everyone he encountered throughout the day. He was thrilled! He was losing a tooth! “Oh, Wow”.

    The opportunity to be so involved in my grandson’s life was at first to me a burden. Not at my age for him to live with me. Why? Why? I want to do other things. I’m too old to start all over raising a child.

    How wrong could I have been! He has given me much more than I could ever have given him. He has given me fresh eyes to appreciate what God has given to all of us that we take for granted. But being with Jesse Samuel has provided me a thrill with events like eveningtide, morning, cartoons, imgination that carry me anywhere with him, questions – endless questions – that provide times for reflective answers – then more questions.

    Oh, Wow – I could go on and on. I think everyone understands.

    God knew exactly what I needed and the moment of time in my life when I needed what my grandson has given.

    So fleeting – catch it – it doesn’t last – but perhaps the gift of wonder which he has rekindled in me will last forever.

    Thanks again, Fred, for you and your gift that you so willingly share.

    Carol Lawson

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