For the Life of the World Week 6: Wonder

What is wonder? One definition is to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe.

In the video, the narrator, Evan, is overwhelmed by daily life and how everything we say, think, do is centered around ourselves. This was illustrated by the dream Evan is sharing about him trying to leave his house but is constantly blocked by himself at every window, door, even by his email and social media.

When he is telling his friend, even his friend becomes a warped version of Evan telling him it’s okay for everything to be about him, and his needs first. Evan then wakes up from his dream shocked and appalled.

This initial example is very relatable to myself, being part of what’s called the “me generation” — it’s very easy to get caught up in my own life and ignore everything and everyone else. This shocked me so well because I could see myself in the same situation, where everywhere I go I am constantly thinking about myself, what do I need.

Evan has now come back to reality and asks his friend about what knowledge is exactly, and his friend gives him two books. The first book is about winemaking, and his friend tells him to taste it, citing the Bible when it says “taste and see that the Lord is good.” Evan replies that it simply tastes like “book.” The second book on the outside it reads  “The Practical Book of Wine,” when opened it contained a small bottle of wine which they take out and taste. The difference between the two books explains the difference between knowledge and wisdom, or knowledge with appreciation.

This example  was very interesting for me since I am currently a college student, and it makes me think a lot more about everything. It makes me think about whether I really appreciate what I am learning in my major, general education classes, even through my life stage experiences of living outside of my home, ministry, and work life. Especially in ministry, I lead a Bible Study for younger students, and a lot of the stories and lessons we study together are very familiar, so I feel that sense of wonder and appreciation is partially lost.

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The next speaker in the video is Makoto Fujimura, the founder of International Arts Movement, and he discusses how the church doesn’t talk about beauty in relation to God and his creation. He retells and gives some commentary on the story of Mary of Bethany, Lazarus’ sister, and how Jesus understands the beauty of her breaking the jar over him, that even though it seems dumb and useless, she sacrificed something she’s been saving her whole life to him. Makoto comments that this is what Jesus wants from us, not just the agreement itself to follow him, but truly our entire being given as a sacrifice to him, even if our actions seem useless or dumb, but as long as they are done as are sacrifice for him, it shows exactly how much we love him.

The retelling of the story of Mary is inspiring and makes me think about how God defines beauty not only in us, but others and the world. Beauty is everywhere, we just have to look for it and embrace it.

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