I don’t know about you, but the last week or so has been filled with some heaviness for me. Friends dealing with deep struggles. The things of life that make you deeply aware that we are walking in the midst of brokenness, and that can make us very weary.
I have spoken often on the pages of this blog of the need to seek out and nurture wonder in our lives. Sometimes when our brokenness is most raw, wonder is most vivid. Seeking out wonder is not just a polyanna attitude…it is not just trying to ignore the bad and focus on the good. It is what brings us life when we are most in need.
When I was in college there was a season I was overwhelmed. We were seeing some truly bizarre things happening spiritually, we were young and emotional and raw and we felt like no one was listening to us. My pastor came up to our campus and walked with me and listened. He read through pages of students who were contemplating suicide…kids who felt completely lost who were writing in the public journal in the prayer chapel. Finally he sat down with me and told me that his best advice was for us to stop fixating on all the issues and to begin to worship.
It sounded rather strange in the moment, I’ll be honest, but it was the best advice I’ve had. He was not asking me to ignore the issues, but he was teaching me to refocus. When we fixate on our brokenness and our problems, and the failures and the issues….oh my.
We can become downcast.
We can become overwhelmed, and as a parent especially, that can be a difficult place to be.
When we turn our attention instead to God, when we turn to wonder and to worship…something else happens. When we realize who our God is, when we turn our attention from our struggle instead to Who cares for us, to the God to Whom we belong…that changes things.
Even on the simplest level
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. Ps 42:11
Sometimes wonder is difficult to find, I know. But I have to tell you…I am so thankful for the musicians around us who are not only gifted in their craft, but who are filled with joy in their craft. They lift us.
The infuse us with wonder.
Sometimes something online goes viral…a music video or a clip of an impromptu performance…and people not only want to watch it, but they want to share it. We want others to see it and be inspired as well. And I love that. I have written before about the powerful influence of music in our lives, but for today I just wanted to focus on how it can stir wonder.
There are a hundred videos I could post, but this flash mob is one of my absolute favorites…and yes, it was orchestrated (!) by a bank in Spain. I don’t care…the musicians are obviously absolutely loving what they are doing and the crowd is delighted…
Another favorite of ours are The Piano Guys. Go and check out their website. Take the time to look at their videos, and turn up your speakers. Grab your kids and watch the videos. These guys not only are fantastic musicians, but they bring in music the kids know and they make it fun and engaging…and then they bring in classical music. Still that is not what makes me watch them the most. What gets me the most and makes me come to them when I am overcome with brokenness is the absolute joy they have in the music.
It lifts my soul.
I’m thankful this morning…thankful for the glorious sunshine and a quiet stillness. Thankful for the change of the seasons and for the delight the kids have in seeing the leaves change and the feeling the coolness in the air. I’m thankful for the wonder around me. I am thankful for a God who created us with imagination and with color and with music and with wonder, so that on days when the brokenness is raw and clear the wonder reminds us that there is more. The wonder reminds us that we were made for something more…and that He will restore.
How amazing will that be? If these things are just a taste? Whew…that’s a whole different post.