It’s a toy I had as a child over seven decades ago that I wish I had now. The Jack in the Box toy. If one of those old ones were around today in pristine condition it would be worth some bucks given the publics nostalgia for old toys. It was a metal box (tin) approximately 6”w X 6”d X 6” h, and it had a hinged lid that snapped shut. On one side there was a crank. When you turned the crank at some point (you could never guess when) the lid would pop up and a clown face on a spring attached to the inside would burst out of the box. It was always a surprise when that lid would fly open. To put one of today’s expressions to it, you could say it was one of those “wow” moments for kids.
It’s easy these days to not have very many of those “wow” moments which come as a result of something as simple as that toy, isn’t it? As we get older (and, yes, more hardened to the ways of the world), busier, stressed, and certainly worn out, our “wow” moments are more and more confined to the big bangs of wow we seek in life. It’s as if we allow crust to build up on our hearts over time, a crust which stops so many of the simple joys and wonders we are surrounded with from touching our hearts.
Surely most of us will reflexively look at a wonderfully painted sunrise or sunset and be wowed by it. We do the same thing when we see other wonders of nature—like the Grand Canyon, or the birth of a child. We are wowed, and legitimately so. We should be. They are examples of God’s hand in our lives and His handiwork. But those are the big bangs of wow-dom.
Those two words, “all things”, mean just that—all things. Not just the sunsets and sunrises, natural wonders, and the like, but all things. Stuff like the breath we just breathed and the next one coming, that last heartbeat, and the next one coming. Things like here I sit at the computer thinking words for this piece and they leave my brain, travel down my arms to my fingers on a keyboard, and I look at them and understand them as they are printing out on a screen. The fact that you are looking at those same words on your screen with eyes that are a foot away and you recognize them, know them, and hopefully are enjoying them as they touch you and your heart. All those things, and so much more, are enormous “wows” that we simply take for granted so much of the time.
We lose that wonderful childlike gift of “wow” as we age, don’t we? Do we take ourselves too seriously? Have we deadened ourselves to the simple joys and wonders of life as we have aged? Could it be that we have self-Imposed the necessity of being “adult” to such a degree that we have forgotten (or worse yet, find it foolish) that it is wonderful to be childlike in our sense of awe and wonder? Have we let the innocence of youth we all once had escape? Have we allowed the business of life to kidnap that child in each of us (the one we often yearn for) and hold him captive within?
We were made to be childlike to the degree that we accept scripture, God, and all that He made and does with the blind faith and sense of awe and wonder of a child.
Perhaps it’s time to consider these past few paragraphs. Find that child within you once again. Love on him. Embrace him. Let him be your best friend as together you start to explore that wonderful world of “wow” that is available to you. It’s there. It’s never left. It’s right in front of you. It’s God. And, it’s godly.
One way to help yourself to do that is to simply start praising God and thanking Him for all of those little wows we so often take for granted instead of just the big wows like the sunrises and sunsets and canyons. Make it your mission to find the kid that never left you. He’s right inside of you hiding behind the crust and all the adult seriousness.