Psalm 8 is a call of praise to God. Looking up at the sky, a sea of black studded with fields of twinkling stars, the Psalmist sits in wonder. She or he also sits awe-struck at a baby’s cry, and at the wondrous creatures they see in God’s world.
This psalm invites me to stop my busyness and sit in wonder at creation.
I do so when I sit in listen to the birds as they sing, or watch them as they flutter at my porch. I do so when I visit the NC Zoo in Asheboro as Kat and I recently did, and I watch with my mouth open in surprise a giraffe bring its head to near petting distance and have trouble believing this is not a creature someone made up. I do so when I tune in programs like NPR’s Science Friday and Invisibilia which describe the wonders of our world as understood and seen more deeply by science from the tiny atom, to the human brain, to the whirling galaxies. I do so when I watch my toddler nephew and am struck with wonder at his curiosity and energy at a new world. I do so when I sit at the beach listening to the roaring wave, or at an overlook on the Blue Ridge watching where the rolling hills touch the blue of the sky.
Taking time to experience wonder reminds us of our smallness and vulnerability while also reminding us of the vastness both of life in all its forms and the God who breathes life into us. For me, at least it leads me to answer the question the psalmist asks of “who am I that you are mindful of me?” as one who is held, one who is loved, by God. I can sense in those moments that I am a child of the Father and Mother of all life, held and carried in the hands of the Creator. In such a moment the trials and challenges of this life that otherwise are overwhelming pale in comparison, and I experience peace.
How do you make room for such wonder in your life? Where do you get in touch with that sense of wonder? What does it teach you?