Maintaining a Sense of Wonder as We Age


To live joyfully, we must maintain a sense of God’s wonder each day.

“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their parents.”—Proverbs 17:6 (NRSV).

In May 2018, my seventh grandchild was born. Fifteen years separate my youngest granddaughter from her oldest sibling. Because my youngest grandchild before Ruby’s birth was almost nine, I’d forgotten the joys of having a baby in the family.

Seeing Ruby grow, and watching her explore the world around her, brings new meaning to my 60 plus years on earth. She’s another crown in my aging life.

Embracing each birthday isn’t easy, especially when we accept the inevitable aches and pains accompanying the additional candles on our cake. Even if we forgo the candles, we can’t escape the internal and external scars of a life often filled with hurt, pain and a loss of trust in others.

We can learn, however, from the whispers of excited children who are anticipating their own birthdays. Children, unhampered by the wounds we’ve accumulated, still enjoy the journey. They embrace the experience.

We sometimes forget the joys and innocence of our own childhood. Our wounds take center stage. Our faith falters. We might expect nothing from our future but more pain and heartache. Instead, we can choose to accept our identity as children of God, remembering that scripture says, “I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you” (Isaiah 46:4 NLT).

Recently, while spending time with my oldest son, I began reminiscing about my own childhood. Driving down the turnpike, I spotted a 1960s model automobile which reminded me of a similar one my parents owned when I was a child. That car set off a litany of the antics involving my sister and me when we were growing up in Louisiana.

My son laughed with each story that revealed a glimpse of my younger years. I cried tears of mirth as each tale unfolded. It released something inside of me, providing a connection with my past and helping me to embrace the future more fully.

I’ve been struggling since last April, questioning the path God has me traveling. I’d wondered, “Where are You leading me, Father?”

Then, I came across the following C.S. Lewis quote: “You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.”

Dreams. Goals. Aren’t they for the young? What can we expect from an uncertain future when tomorrow is not promised? Should we sit in our rocking chair and rust or zone out in front of the television? Not if we begin to see life through the eyes of a child.

I love to recall the memories I’ve made so far with my other grandchildren. Those moments of shared laughter and joyful anticipation have helped me to maintain a sense of wonder in a world filled with hate and darkness. Through their hope-filled eyes and trusting nature, I can experience the pure and spontaneous pleasures of childhood once again.

To live joyfully, we must maintain a sense of God’s wonder each day.

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