It’s been a busy couple weeks. I’ve spent most of a week at a youth conference, being on, and when I returned, I had a week of meetings and catch-up and generally busy family life. I needed some extra sleep, some space, some downtime. But there is something more I needed.
It was last Saturday night and I had some time. I started a game of Myst V for the first time. There is something about exploring deserted worlds filled with enigmatic machinery that excites my imagination. I ended my session playing feeling lighter. Maybe it was just the free time and the new entertainment that lifted the burden, but I think it was more.
I took a walk afterward with my iPod, but I didn’t start the music. I didn’t want to spoil the impression that surrounded me. I sensed again that somewhere beyond there was mystery–an unexplored world–a sense of answers and adventure. I had been given the gift of wonder. That is what I needed.
Sometimes movies strive to impress us with eye candy, but that is not wonder. That is merely entertainment.
Wonder is not the song full of power but the snatch of melody, the snatch of five seconds in which the music lifts you up, even though you can’t get others to hear it.
Wonder is not the plot twist but the moment where the story stops being words on the page and opens up the flash of another world.
Wonder is not the solving of an equation but the revelation of the answer’s elegance and necessity.
Wonder is not restful because it removes you from the world but because it returns the world to you.
Wonder is not beauty seen but beauty felt, not beauty captured in a picture but beauty that encaptures us, if only for a moment.
I don’t think wonder can be re-lived in the same way again, at least not on purpose, but perhaps it can be courted.
That night, walking without my music, headphones in, I remembered something. If I write, I want to write what is true and what is beautiful. Perhaps, if I am lucky, and if God allows, it will be wonder-full to someone.
For that is what we need, as much as rest, as much as food, to be revived in a dark world. We need a glimpse of God’s beauty and limitlessness so we can lift our eyes and see beyond our enclosed little realms.