Do you still remember that poem we learned as children? It still enters my thinking as I gaze into the evening sky and see the bright stars. The ability to wonder is an amazing gift. Recently at one of our Awana children’s club meetings, our children were asked to share their “wondering” by writing their questions down. I loved reading their questions:
Why do you have to spell some things with “ph” instead of “f”? Why am I so small? Why don’t I have sister and so many brothers? Why am I here? Why do some people not like Jesus? How did the world get here? Why did God make us come into this world?
Trying to help these young people find some answers will be a real challenge but an exciting one. Their questions remind me of some of the issues I faced as a child. Though years have passed and some answers have been found, there are many others waiting to be discovered. I hope I will never lose that ability to wonder. I do not ever want to say “My mind is made up – please don’t confuse me with the facts!”
One thing I have discovered is that God is not one to throw a wet towel on human questions but instead invites their presence. Some people have the impression that God is all about a list of dos and especially don’ts. The church over the centuries may have given that impression, making the issue of spiritual faith seem anti-intellectual through inquisitions and censorship.
But the Bible records many accounts of people, like a man named Nicodemus in John 3, wondering who Jesus really was. Then there was the person named Job, complaining to God about what was happening in his life. God did not become upset, distressed or angry.
In fact the Bible is an account of explanation of spiritual realities that otherwise would escape us. It may not answer why some things are spelled with “ph” instead of “f” but it will help us discern many other issues of life in physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual dimensions.
God invites exploration of him. Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that God is good. How happy is the one who takes refuge in him.”
Try him out, you might actually like him. I know how intimidating that can be as one who personally is not readily a “taster” of things. Jesus, while on Earth, continued that invitation and welcomed honest inquiry into spiritual realities. I believe that invitation still stands today and I am glad because wondering is a wonderful gift to help us find and enjoy life to its fullest. Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder …
Scarborough Baptist Church, 1597 Kingston Rd., has been a part of the Birch Cliff community for 86 years. Rev. Stephen Hamburger is pastor.