When the heart is trained to perceive and appreciate the beauty that the eyes behold, astonishment becomes an ongoing occurrence. Any day without astonishment hasn’t been lived to the fullest. Astonishment is refreshing because it reminds us that life is more than biology.
Life without astonishment tends to be an ongoing disappointment. If you sit still and quietly listen for peace within, you’ll soon be astonished at the hope that’s hidden in your heart. Let yourself be astonished by something today.
There’s so much in life that is astonishing, but we’ve been trained to call it ordinary. When curiosity activates the brain, it produces analysis; when it activates the heart it inspires astonishment. When we’re stuck in analysis, astonishment is off our radar.
A heart that’s open to astonishment, daily gathers much delight. No one is ever astonished by unseen, unrecognized, or unappreciated marvels. Astonishing moments of my life often come to my mind, and I still marvel at them with awe and gratitude.
When analysis is used to amputate our astonishment instead of to amplify it, we’re left with the boredom of cold, hard facts. People like to list their achievements, but few list their astonishments.
Much that’s astonishing is unnoticed. The fact that humans have the ability to be astonished is in itself astonishing.
Nature is full of astonishment, but we’ve seen it so often that it mostly hides behind the fog of familiarity. The astonishment of nature relieves anxiety. Wander down a wooded path and wonder and at its marvels.
Rationality fills up your mind and sensuality your senses, but it takes spirituality to fill up your heart. I’ve rarely found astonishment in programmed church services, but I continually find when I read the Bible with an open heart. Christianity without continual astonishment is only a shadow of what it’s meant to be.
Wow, that’s a different thought to me, concerning feeling astonishment every day. But I can certainly identify with it in my life.
Thinking over the last months, I would say my moments of “astonishment” usually involved the feeling of God’s presence, which doesn’t seize to be astonishing and refreshing every time. (I’ll add that there are no human words that adequately describe the feeling of God’s presence, thus we need to use adjectives of significant compromise–such as “astonishment”–to illustrate this celestial experience.)
I am also frequently “astonished” at God’s unlimited greatness and uncompromising love and forgiveness that He extends to this unworthy human race…
I could fill a whole book with stories of these experiences–and maybe some day I will.
Thank you, Steve, for sharing.
Well said, Marcus! I love your book idea.