I have a friend who has a terrible time with budgeting money. His problem is he can’t. We go to the mall and he walks out with about $80 worth of stuff and I’ll come out with maybe one item that’s inexpensive if even that. This friend doesn’t even have health insurance or a working automobile.
Now he’ll usually call me in the evenings and ask me what I’m doing. The answer is always the same. I’m on my computer. (There are a few exceptions to this such as if I’m at a friend’s or at a coffeeshop.) Before long, he’ll tell me he’s bored.
Now this amazes me. This guy buys new stuff every week and is incredibly bored. I hardly ever buy myself something new and I am rarely bored. I usually enjoy my life immensely.
This gets me to wondering where exactly wonder lies. I think one of the great errors of our time is that we suck the wonder out of stuff. Watch for this when someone says something is “nothing more.” I had a skeptic say to me that sex is nothing more than copulation recently. How can it be wonderful if it is lowered in such a way? It is purely biological function! Nothing else!
How many of us pause at what we see in our life though? I was driving some friends back to the church from getting pizza yesterday afternoon and just marveled for a moment. I’m a small guy and I’m controlling this vehicle to guide me across distances Saint Paul would have been thrilled at. My friends are actually trusting me with their lives and with simple pushes of my feet and movements of my hands, so much is happening.
When I see a movie like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I’m glued. Why? Because the movie has never got boring. If you enjoy it the first time, you should enjoy it the 101st time. I think the same applies to jokes. Does humor just grow old over time instead?
How about beauty? We men need to realize with the ladies that the beauty does not lie in our perception. The beauty lies in them. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder. It’s objective and lies in the beautiful. There is such a thing as the beautiful.
Is this why some marriages grow stale? We’ve lost the wonder. The wife decides she can stop working on being desirable as she’s already got the man she wanted? The husband decides he can stop chasing the lady he loves because he already has her?
And why does it seem that intercourse happens less? Take a couple on their honeymoon and all they want to do is be with each other? Does that moment ever lose its wonder? Yet as the years go on, it seems harder and harder and could it sadly be because the marriage has grown stale?
I am most concerned because when we adapt this kind of view, we make ourselves into little gods. We are the ones who determine if something is wonderful or beautiful or funny or whatever else we may wish. It is a sort of aesthetic relativism.
These things either are or they aren’t. Our perception won’t change the reality. It doesn’t in morality. It doesn’t in physics. I don’t see why it should in aesthetics. Did God make a wonderful universe? How do you answer that?
If your answer is yes, then today is the time to wake up and start living accordingly. Love the significant other in your life. Enjoy that joke again. Watch that movie one more time. Be thrilled at driving.
Embrace the wonder!