Some humans think I live a very boring existence. After all, I wake up every morning on the very same perch, in the very same location, in the very same house. It’s been that way for over ten years now. But I never feel bored at all. And that’s because I’ve always kept my inner sense of wonder. I’m still a chick at heart, marvelling at the world around me. Our natural world is full of miraculous things. Nature is like an extraordinary machine that has been crafted, honed, and lovingly serviced by the ultimate Master Craftsman. And it’s when I marvel at the natural world around me that I truly sense the presence of God. And there are some humans that feel the same way too:
“The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God.”
(Pope Francis: 1936- present).
Of course, this world doesn’t offer us the perfection of Heaven. It comes with much suffering and hardship and threats and menace. But if we can only see behind what’s wrong with our world, then the work of a loving Creator is all around. Outside my window, I’m starting to see some signs of Spring. The days are growing longer and the first Snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils are up and flowering.
Soon the great flocks of starlings which are daily visitors to the garden feeders will somehow know it’s time for them to migrate back to Scandinavia. There’s something very reassuring about the rhythm of the natural world of which I form a part. It shows there’s an underlying pattern and a structure to our lives which is bigger and greater than we can ever be.
God has always wanted us to be explorers. Not necessarily like those human explorers that climb up mountains or who go to the farthest ends of the Earth. No, God wants us to explore the immediate world around us. He wants us all to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to feel, to laugh and to love. If our senses and emotions become dulled, then we will miss out on the richness, the beauty and the wonder of the world around us. And when that happens, we can easily find ourselves cast adrift of God’s presence.
Chicks and human babies are born with a wonderful sense of wonder, and the secret to a fulfilling adult life is to try to maintain that sense of wonder. Without it, the world can turn into a very dull, grey and monotonous place:
“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us, that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct of what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost as we reach adulthood.”
(Rachel Carson: 1907-1964: American author and marine biologist).
God’s natural world is incredibly precious. A great many humans mindlessly destroy it, but with every act they commit, they are behaving like lost souls:
“To commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God.”
(Pope Francis: 1936-present).
With a sense of wonder in your heart, you will honour and revere the natural world around you. Because you will begin to see a creation that is so complex, so incredible, so unlikely, that it will blow your mind away, and you will know without doubt that it is all the work of a masterful divine Creator.
“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:3).