My wife and I were reminiscing, recently, about some of the great vacations we had so long ago: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Mount Rainier, and Olympic on the Pacific Ocean. And I was reminded of this quote:
“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea and they pass by themselves without wondering.”
We don’t need spectacular mountain views and the sounds and scents of the sea to have our breath taken away. Everything—and everyone—we experience around us is deserving of that same wonder.
Forget the mountains. Just look at your yard; the grass and how it grows. Wonder at all the life beneath its blades, in the soil surrounding its roots. Wonder at the birds searching it for the food God has left there for them; kids playing in the dirt.
Forget the sea. Just watch the rain fall from the clouds that come and go; the circle of life it continuously encourages, sustains, and renews—including the yard work it creates for us to do. And wonder at your own two hands doing that work: their design, their capabilities, and the complexity of their control system. They are worth marveling at!
As for my wife, I need to look at her differently, too. She and everyone else I encounter is a miracle – deserving of dignity because God created them, loves them, and holds them in existence. All given to us to love, nurture, and form—and to be loved, nurtured, and formed by in the reciprocation of relationship and friendship—with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control.
Anyway, the quote caused me to stop and wonder at what’s right in front of me. I don’t need to go anywhere. My wife, kids, grandkids; my friends, coworkers, clients, and neighbors; all unique with different experiences, points of view, and opinions. I need to see them in a different way. I need to wonder at each of them more.
How might a deeper appreciation of every individual impact our relationships? I wonder.
Written by Jim Gernetzke, business/life coach and founder of Nos Lumine