Eyes of Wonder

By John Telgren

It was one of those father and son times together. William and I had just stepped outside from the building after a good lunch and a movie. He stopped with wide-eyed wonder. "Dad, look!" he whispered. I looked in the direction his tiny finger was pointing. "What?" I said, not seeing anything but a sidewalk. He pointed again with more emphasis, "There, look!" From the sound of his voice and the expression on his face, I could tell there must be something marvelous that I was missing. So I strained my eyes to see in the distance. "No Dad, there!" He whispered again, pointing to an area just a few feet from us. Then I saw it. It was a common, ordinary sparrow. "You mean the bird?" I asked. He nodded his head not taking his eyes away from what seemed so ordinary to me.

There was a time when that was me. What seemed so mundane and ordinary carried a captivating fascination for me. Somewhere along the way, I, like so many of us lost it. Even though the world was corrupted by sin, the world is still full of wonder and beauty that originated from the hand of God. Sin must have affected us humans more than the creation. In all our self-centered busyness, we see less and less of God. And it isn’t as if God cannot be seen everywhere.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands (Ps 19:1)."

The Heavens continue declaring the glory of God, from the sky all the way down to a little sparrow. But we are too busy and absorbed with ourselves to see it.

But I realize it is not a lost cause. I can see God again if I stop trying so hard to be "grown up." There is a profound truth behind the words of Jesus when he took a child in his lap and said,

"Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these (Luk 18:16)."

Children don’t have the same adult concerns that we do. They are not worried about status, pride, or climbing any social ladder. They are just happy to be with the ones they love.

So is it any wonder that Jesus used a child and not an adult as an object lesson?

"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, ‘Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt 18:1-3)."

I think we can learn so much by watching children. Mine are just the exact opposite of my dog. We give our dog a treat, and she doesn’t even chew it, much less taste it. On the other hand, I look at my middle child, and he is the slowest eater in the world. Sometimes we get so impatient with him. I thought he just didn’t like to eat, until I slowed down and watched him. He likes his food. He also likes to take the time to enjoy it. He savors every bite. It is not just a necessity to get done and over with. It is an experience to be enjoyed. I had to ask myself, am I like my dog, or my child? The kingdom of heaven doesn’t belong to those who are like the dogs, but to those who are like the children.

How ironic. I used to think in terms of growing up. While the Bible does tell us to "grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ (Eph 4:15)," it also tell us we need to "grow down" by being "converted" and become "like children." My children sometimes compare themselves to me, but here I am comparing myself to them!

We need to slow down and be with the ones we love. First and foremost, we need to be with God. Jesus set time aside just to be with God and pray. We need to have our special time with God. We need to let our mind dwell on things above, on him. There are reminders of him all around us if we would slow down and look.