And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

-Matthew Chapter 18 vs 3

We gave our granddaughter, Eleanor, a small microscope for her 4th birthday. When she put her eye to the eyepiece and focused in closely on a flower, she gasped. There it was, that burst of wonder that cements indelible moments like this into our memories. 

I never tire of pushing the drug of discovery. Because once addicted to discovery we cannot help but explore and learn. 

Eleanor’s one-year-old brother, Thomas, is at the point of his life where he is barraged with wonder and first time discoveries. I am enthralled at his wide-eyed stare at a small rubber ball gripped in his hand. Such a simple marvel. 

We might be the only species that can gasp over a fiery sunset, a tanager at our bird bath or a stunning panorama. Photos can give us such a feeling but they don’t have nearly the same impact as encountering the moment.

We can all recollect those kind of “drop-to-your-knees” moments. My forehead is wonderfully scarred with a lifetime of what I call “wow” wrinkles. These corrugated ridges are the earned stripes of a life well surprised. 

These are not to be confused with the very similar markings of a scowl. But there is a difference: A scowl usually involves an angry cleft between the eyes. 

To check out the health of your wrinkles, stand in front of a mirror and let loose a wide-eyed “Wow!” There, did you see the excited skin on your forehead surge? If you have them, wear them proudly because they illustrate a lifetime of spontaneous “wows.” And that is a privilege.

Many theologians believe religions start from a place of wonder. I agree; when faced with a stunning moment of beauty or discovery there is an associated sense of reverence. And always after fully surrendering to wonder I whisper or shout out my own song of gratitude.

People need to be touched by unbridled wonder to really care for and appreciate the natural world. We need voices to sing praises for those sacred natural systems that make our lives possible. 

It’s time to head outdoors to engage with the morning and hopefully give my wrinkles a good workout.

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