6 Ways You Can Choose Wonder in 2016

2015 turned out to be a different world than 2014 and this year promises more change. That’s guaranteed!

• The state of our world is as uncertain as it’s ever been and all bets are off when it comes to what it will look like five years from now.
• Will we face an even deeper economic collapse?
• Will we face more threats from well-funded lunatics and military mercenaries?
• Is this the kind of world that you’d want to bring a kid into in five years?
• Should we be investing in the market or stockpiling spam and green beans in our closets?

Uncertainty is certain but one thing remains: our desire for wonder. Wonder is imbedded in the core of our soul. Very few seek a boring life, with so-so relationships, a mediocre romance and a take-it-or-leave-it career. We yearn for wonder. But how do we get wonder? Is wonder something we can capture like a trout at the end of a fly reel? Is wonder a formula? Is it a myth like the legends of Middle Earth, Sasquatch, or honest politics?

Time and time again in the Bible we get a view of wonder – how to lose it and how to seize it today. We see heroes who struggle – just like us. We see ordinary people who doubt – just like we do. And we see God compelling them to be all they never thought they could be. It all begins with preparation.

Chances are, this season of your life is all about preparing you for the next season of life. If you are anything like me and my church, you have big dreams and little budgets. Like a slingshot, you are being stretched to the limit in order to propel you into all the other phases of your life. This stretching time can determine your career, your lifelong friends, your financial future and ultimately, your spiritual direction. (No pressure.) While so many celebrate with a series of mind-numbing parties and shallow, surface-thin relationships based on all the wrong things, God wants to lead you through the threshold of wonder, bliss and amazement that will last for eternity.

In order to experience the wonder of this amazing walk with Jesus, make a few commitments:

• to not take yourself so seriously
• to not win arguments
• to love the people nobody seems to be loving
• to connect on a deeper level with your friends
• to be honest in your conversations
• to treat yourself like Jesus treats you
• to leave people alone when they want to be left alone
• to not “fix” your family
• to laugh more
• to dream more
• to give more
• to treasure sleep
• to weep without shame
• to rest when you’re tired
• to celebrate the accomplishments of others
• to live wholeheartedly
• to never judge
• to always love
• to be present
• to be available
• to put people above agendas
• to live in a perpetual state of gratitude

Jesus tells a story about a guy who finds an amazing buried treasure and then sells everything he has so that he can have the legal rights to this secret trove. Can’t you just hear his friends, family and neighbors? They didn’t know about the treasure. Can you hear them gossiping about his foolishness in selling his home, boat, donkey, family heirlooms, his shoes, pottery collection, tickets to the games in Rome … everything! I can just see him with a mischievous grin as he hears them mock and sees the smirks. He takes all this abuse because he knows something they don’t. He prepares to sell it all and get so much more in return. This is a metaphor about consecration. He goes on a huge sell-off in order to get that pearl – the prize of his life.

What will you choose?

Here are Six Ways to Choose Wonder

1. Seek out private worship. Having a daily time of worship and Bible reading places you in the zone of the supernatural. Shoot for seven days a week but hit at least five. See what God begins to show you.

2. Connect with one other person who is in agreement with you to follow God and seek Him daily. Meet once a week with that friend.

3. Make a difference in one person’s life. Pastor Andy Stanley says it like this: Do for one person what you wish you could do for everybody.

4. Set boundaries on frivolous spending and activities that disrupt your spiritual journey.

5. Give up trying to control people. Simply love them and work on yourself. It’s amazing what happens when we allow people to experience the consequences of their actions. Instead of trying to fix people, just love them and let them see you live with integrity.

6. Look for God’s hand and you’ll be amazed! There are miracles and unexplained mysteries all around us. Once you find them, you’ll bolster your faith to ask God for big things.