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Getting Wonder Off The List

March 1st, 2010

Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking to our church on the topic of the primal soul.  I had a blast (not sure about everyone else.)  This study has really intrigued me to all that life consists of that may be either subconscious or non-cognitive in nature.  From the standpoint of the soul, Mark Batterson makes the observation that the soul is the part of our existence that experiences wonder.

I was struck most deeply by the idea that God Himself can marvel at . . . well, Himself.  I think that my concepts of wonderment have always been confined to lists.  I’m a list kind of guy.  I have felt that to marvel at God, I would need to stop and mentally list the reasons why He is so amazing.  Even a glimpse of my MacBook Pro desktop Stickies software freaks out the average person.  Colored-coded and clustered sporadically across my screen are all of the lists that need my attention.  Some daily.  Some weekly.  Some with indefinite deadlines.

My actions seem to find their priority from these lists.  Even in my calendar program, I send myself alarms and reminders when a task needs to be accomplished in a time-sensitive manner.  So, when that little reminder hits my inbox, I drop other things and give that event precedence.  That’s priority.  What we give our time and energy to is that which is most important to us.  You can bet your sweet bibby that these types of priorities in our lives are often subconscious.

If most of us were asked what we spend most of our time doing and whether or not it was our top priority, we would respond with a resounding “no!” You think sitting at this computer all day logging this information for my employer is what matters most to me?  You’re crazy! Yet, our key emotional energy is often spent on things that we consider menial or less-than-primal.  This is sometimes necessary, but it’s an issue nonetheless.

So when we consider that fact that our most important priorities in life sometimes don’t make our “lists”, we are faced with the difficult challenge of maintaining a state of wonder over God.  Sheeze!  Stopping to watch a sunset today just isn’t going to make the cut . . . get real.

But here’s the kicker of the matter.  Lists are cognitive . . . mental tools.  Note what David says about the wonders of God.  ” . . . my soul knows it very well.  Psalm 139:14 (ESV). David differentiated between mental consciousness and soul consciousness.  In other words, our goal isn’t just to get God onto the list . . . it’s to get God into our souls while we are working on the list.  What if I experienced the soul-inspiring wonder of God while I was running errands or spending time with my daughter?  What if I took a moment in the most stressful moment of my day to whisper to Him that I need help?   What if the wonder wasn’t subject to the list?

The “what ifs” could become “what ares” is we want them to be.  God, may I experience the wonder today somewhere down deep in my soul.


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