Zion is eight. In some ways, he is a typical 8 year old boy. Shaggy hair. Impish grin. Dirt on his leg from hauling another piece of scrap wood to the fort out back. Yet, he is atypical. In fact, he is remarkable – on a number of facets, not the least which is his sense of wonder.
It was never more evident than during this year’s onething conference in downtown Kansas City. The lobby of the hotel contained a display of gingerbread houses – maybe thirty or forty – of every size, color, and level of finish. Some were mash up graham cracker jobs. Others were, in Zion’s terms, bedazzled with shiny things.
Late one night, Zion and I went to the lobby where we were having food delivered. He asked “Dad, can I go look at the gingerbread houses?” Knowing we might have a long wait ahead of us, I told him to go ahead.
Twenty minutes later, I found myself watching him as he continued to intently examine each display. He would stare at each one, running his eyes across the roof line left to right, drop down to each window, at each door, and finally looking hard to see how the whole thing was fastened to the base. Only then would he shuffle his little feet a few inches to one side and start the entire operation over again. The graham cracker mash ups got the same treatment as the bedazzled mansions – he took it all in.
Frankly, this would have taken me about 30 seconds…but he was spending 3 or 4 minutes on each six inch creation. I would have looked at them with casual interest. Zion was looking with wonder….and with eyes of wonder, he saw what I missed.
“Dad, did you see how the door swung on the hinges? Did you see how all the gumdrops are the same shape but that one? Did you see that one that the little girl made?”
I had to admit….I didn’t, because I was looking to pass the time and he was looking with wonder.
I’m convinced that the sense of boredom so painfully evident in the church is less related to who God is and more connected to how we’re looking at Him. We’re doing our time giving him the perfunctory glance that we imagine He demands but when it’s over…did we see Him? Or did we simply see what we saw last time, a sort of optical shorthand for ‘been there, saw that’.
Examining the Bible with any sort of seriousness tells us that there are things to come that fit outside the comfort zone of church as it’s being done now.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ (something about using the book’s proper name gives it a bit more weight) is full of things that we’ve never seen, yet in most places it’s not even considered, much yet being taught. (Just because we can’t know everything about a topic is no excuse to not learn what we can. Heaven forbid that science would take the same incurious approach to medicine that we’ve taken to eschatology).
The Word of the Lord through the Prophet Habakkuk echoes in my heart this morning as I reexamine how I choose to think about God and His activity.
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