Plan a play date,
go for a walk through your favourite park,
and take time to enjoy the beauty and wonder of God.
– Christine Aroney-Sine, A Daily Dose of Awe
This week I received a delightful surprise in my mail box: The Gift of Wonder: Creative Practices for Delighting in God by Christine Aroney-Sine (InterVarsity Press, 2019). Since I already have a copy, I’d love to give this one away – to enter to win, leave a comment below or sign up for my free email updates. I’ll do a random draw on June 10, 2019, 9am Pacific.
The strength of the book lies in its creative practices and related stories, but the following quotes also caught my attention.
Delighting in God
God’s kingdom is a new world with a totally new culture, new language, customs, values, and purpose. (page 16)
Sabbath is not a rest of exhaustion but of delight. (page 19)
Recovering awe and wonder
The first key to recovering awe and wonder is to allow for silence. Not the silence that comes from an absence of noise but silentium, the silence of attentiveness toward God. Only silentium provides a quiet space for our souls, allows our imaginations to flourish, and opens us to awe of our amazing God. This form of quietness is not easy to find because it isn’t about place but attitude. Silentium encourages us to slow down, set aside the distractions of minds, hearts, and daily activities to draw from the quiet inner center to commune with the spirit of God in a special way. (page 28)
You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato (page 55)
Asking better questions
Sometimes doubts are intensified because we ask the wrong questions. Passive questions that expect God to do something without my active engagement are destructive, not constructive. When I blame God, I don’t need to respond. “Why does God allow suffering?” sidesteps my responsibility and sometimes culpability in the situation I am struggling with. Now I replace it with “What does God ask me to do when I am confronted with suffering?” Or “Where is God in the midst of this suffering?” (page 81)
So often we excuse our busyness by saying, “But I enjoy what I do.” Yes, but does God enjoy it when it turns us away from the divine presence? We will never learn to rest fully in God unless we can relinquish our desire to be in control of our lives, our time schedules, and our activities, and do what we want to do rather than what God wants us to do. (page 125)
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust (page 159)
The three most important ways to nurture compassion are modeling, surrounding ourselves with people who regularly practice compassion and coming face-to-face with people who need our care. Without role models to guide us, face-to-face encounters to prompt us, and encouragement to reach out and be kind, the impulse shrivels and dies. (page 171)
To enter to win a free copy of The Gift of Wonder: Creative Practices for Delighting in God, leave a comment below, or sign up for my free email updates. I’ll do a random draw on June 10, 2019, 9am Pacific. This draw is now closed—thanks for playing!
Writing/Reflection Prompt: Respond to one of the quotes listed above from The Gift of Wonder.
For more on everyday acts of faith,