One day an email landed in my box that inspired me. It told about a group of students who were asked to name what they thought were the Seven Wonders of the World. The wonders that received the most votes included Egypt’s Great Pyramids, Taj Mahal, Grand Canyon, Panama Canal, Empire State Building, St. Peter’s Basilica, and China’s Great Wall.
But apparently one student had trouble finishing her list, stating she could not make up her mind because there were so many to choose from. The teacher encouraged her to share her list aloud with the other students to see if they could help. She read, “I think the Seven Wonders of the World are to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to feel, to laugh, and to love.”
This unexpected list was followed by a poignant reminder—“The most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.”
This student listed “wonders” that I never thought much about until one day a few years ago when my husband and I took my friend, Shirley, for what turned out to be her final jeep ride.
Riding in the jeep was not a big deal to me, perhaps because it was “old hat” as some might say. But Shirley, then in the final stages of her battle with cancer, noticed details I never had and she relished every moment of her ride. I was captivated by her adoration and reverence for what she was seeing and by every breath of fresh country air she took in so gratefully. She passed on a few months later.
My jeep ride with her taught me lessons I will never forget. I discovered colors in the sunset I didn’t know were there. I learned that each of our cows has its own distinct bellow and some have really long eyelashes. I noticed that the deeper the hole you drive over, the harder your laugh will be. I found that looking out over big Texas pastures reminds you of the broad expanse of God’s love. I was informed that gazing at the horizon when the sun is setting fills you with a peaceful sense of the infinity of life.
How do we keep our sense of wonder?
How do we maintain our appreciation of all the everyday miracles that compose our day?
How do we never overlook the blessings that make up each life moment?
Even to ask such questions is a good beginning. Pausing to ask these questions also requires pausing to explore for the answers. Our sincere desire to cherish life is a prayer in and of itself—and one that will be answered.
As I learned in my jeep ride, the more acutely aware we are of what and who shares our days, the more meaningful and satisfying life will be. Savoring and mindfully using any of the wonders of sight, hearing, taste, touch, feeling, laughter, and love will guide you to even more of the wonders that God promises for her beloved children.
Start right now—this very moment—and keep yourself in a constant state of awe, admiration, and respect for every ordinary and extraordinary wonder in your day. You don’t want to miss anything. I sure hope I don’t.