Rediscovery of Wonder

Just to be clear, I live on a near perfect sphere hurtling through space at around 67,000 miles per hour. Mach 86 to pilots.  Of course, this sphere of mine is also spinning while it hurtles, so tack on an extra 1, 000 miles an hour at the fat parts. And it’s all tucked into this giant hurricane of stars.  Yes, it can be freaky. Once a month or so, my wife will find me lying in the lawn, burrowing white knuckles into the grass, trying not to fly away.  But most of the time I manage to keep my balance despite the speed, and I don’t have to hold on with anything more than my toes.

So begins N.D. Wilson’s description of the planet he lives on, that is, earth. I think the point he makes is valid: this world in which we live, and often yawn about, is wondrous. How else can you describe a phenomenon which is so marvelous in description but which can be so easily forgotten by the very dwellers caught up in the middle of the swirling and twirling and spinning that takes place at every minute of every day? Isn’t it amazing that we don’t have white-knuckles-in-grass moments more often at the thought of just being on this crazy ride that is our world?  In his book, Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl, Wilson breaks open the wonder that is living in a world “combining galaxies, black holes, Jerry Seinfeld, over 300, 000 varieties of beetles, Shakespeare, adrenal glands, professional bowling, and the bizarre reproductive patterns of wasps (along with teams of BBC cameramen to document them).”

More than that, what does it mean to live in a world that is the creation of God? A world regarding which Wilson says, “Welcome to His poem. His play. His novel. […] Let the pages flick your thumbs. This is His spoken world.”

These themes, along with others branching out from them, are explored in what can best be described as written impressionism: ideas that perhaps seem a bit random but that, upon standing back, form a cohesive whole.  This is not a philosophy or theology book, per se. You will not leave the book with the illusion that you have mapped out time, space, humanity and God.  No, no.  It does what any good work examining this life should do: it challenges, inspires, amuses…In short, it invites its readers to wonder.

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