Wonder stops us in our tracks. It compels us to let go of focusing on dogged accomplishing and doing, and instead to simply be open and vulnerable to the mysteriously wonderful presence that is God-With-Us.
The above quote was part of an e-mail message that stopped me in my tracks on November 22, a week before Advent. The message came across the church mailing list from our pastor, inviting us to prepare our hearts for Advent, and introducing the season's worship theme: Seized By Wonder!
The message included specific statements of invitation for each of the weeks of Advent, and said, "If one of these statements of invitation reminds you of a story or some thoughts you'd like to share with the congregation, please contact a member of the committee..."
The statement of invitation for November 29 was "Share the ways you see God here and now." November 29. One week away. Sunday after Thanksgiving, a weekend of travel. End-of-semester crunch. Surely that message wasn't for me.
But it was.
I found myself in worship-committee conversations, and writing a reflection (which pretty much wrote itself) on the bus to work and in the car on the way to Thanksgiving celebrations.
It was a strange paradox, that being open to being stopped in my tracks, and releasing the load of accomplishing & doing, entailed taking on one more accomplishing/doing task. Yet who am I to argue with the Spirit? Besides, I had been preparing for that reflection for over a year. By writing this blog.
Elvis Sightings = breakthrough moments of wonder.
I know I've got the Grinker coinage of the term Elvis Sightings up on the sidebar: a one-time utterance or action that comes surprisingly out of nowhere, and then disappears again. It's a fascinating aspect of our experience with Joy and her autism. However, the chronicles here at Elvis Sightings have by no means been confined to that narrow a definition. Instead, I've been writing about moments worth sharing. Happenings that make me think. And above all, the sightings of wonder that -- even when I don't make the explicit connection in the blog post -- make me aware of God's presence in our lives, here and now.
Some recent examples:
Seized by wonder! God is here.
Breakthrough moments of wonder = God sightings.
It was a privilege to share some of these reflections with the congregation.
My wish for you this new year -- and maybe it can count as a resolution for myself -- is that we pay attention to the moments of wonder in our lives, taking a few additional moments of contemplation and gratitude.
May your "sightings" in 2010 be frequent and marvellous!