“Do it again, God!” Would that every routine, mundane, taken-for-granted tidbit of reality were replete with the wonder of the first time!
The great G.K. Chesterton seemed to live by this philosophy, and he has such a knack for helping us all remember:
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
If we sense we have lost something of our own ability to wonder, why don’t we ask, “must it be so?” Let’s see if we can’t make Chesterton’s point (and our own) a little bit clearer with these two sweet videos:
This “appetite of infancy” is one of the beautiful things we notice when we’re around children, for whom, at least at a certain age, EVERYTHING is new and exciting and the cause for curiosity:
This adorable video reminded me of the awe we experience when we have our first encounter with God. Today, I ask him to help me remember and relive what it was like to feel his powerful love in my life for the first time – especially through the small, everyday things. Enjoy watching this cuties’ reaction!
And there’s the similar wonder that we sense when we travel abroad, or when we welcome strangers into our culture and try to introduce them to, say, the best cheeseburger ever! (or whatever our other proud, local delicacies).
But why should it be any less amazing after the second, third, 87th or 2000th time we experience something beautiful? Everything is a gift. We are the ones who grow callous and bored. It’s not God’s fault! What if it were as simple as deciding to change our attitude?
These fun, poignant videos should remind us to play, to wonder, to see and thank God afresh for every delight – and, if we can, also for the pains and pangs that we know He gives us for some greater good, even as we might only be looking at the back-side of His glorious, wondrous tapestry.
G.K. Chesterton, Apostle of Wonder:
If these videos and/or this attitude resonate with you (or if you think you could benefit from some wonder-invoking reading), you should really get to know Chesterton:
“[We] may, by fixing our attention almost fiercely on the facts actually before us, force them to turn into adventures; force them to give up their meaning and fulfill their mysterious purpose. […The] object of my school is to show how many extraordinary things even a lazy and ordinary man may see if he can spur himself to the single activity of seeing. For this purpose I have taken the laziest person of my acquaintance, that is myself; and made an idle diary of such odd things as I have fallen over by accident, in walking in a very limited area at a very indolent pace.”
“Everything is in an attitude of mind; and at this moment I am in a comfortable attitude. I will sit still and let the marvels and the adventures settle on me like flies. There are plenty of them, I assure you. The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.”
Find out more about Chesterton here. Most of his books can be found online for free!
For the Catholic, it’s not just a cute mental trick:
The most wondrous thing God does, over and over again, at altars across the world, is He comes to us in the Mass. Let us always remember to wonder at the Catholic Mystery.
“If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away, behold all things are made new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
“And he that sat on the throne, said: Behold, I make all things new. And he said to me: Write, for these words are most faithful and true” (Rev. 21:5).
This post was written collaboratively by Maria Alejandra Rivas and Winnie Walter.