Radical Wonder

You know those moments in life that leave you in a daze of astonishment? Whether it’s the time you first held your child in your hands, the instant when you saw your daughter in her wedding dress, your first experience touching snow. For me, sunsets leave me in this place. Often, when I don’t have the words for these moments of awe, I just thank God! I think this accurately depicts what wonder is.

Elaine Fraser beautifully writes about the wonder that we often overlook in everyday life. She shows us how we don’t have to wait for these once in a lifetime moments to experience wonder…

Awareness of the divine begins with wonder – Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel


I sit in a café and watch a little girl play with her toys. ‘Wow!’  Her voice is filled with wonder. She’s focused, she’s smiling, and her eyes are filled with amazement.

When was the last time you felt like that? Children have a well-developed sense of wonder. They think everything is amazing. They think everything is wow!

During seven months of travel last year, I had some wow moments. I stood on top of mountains in Norway. I ‘wowed’ over glaciers, sculptures, paintings, and exquisite food. I climbed Kilimanjaro and watched the sun rise below me.

But, when I’m in the groove of routine and ordinariness, it’s easy to overlook wonder.

When I treat life casually, wonder is diminished

I want to live in radical wonder. I want to be filled with the sublime wonder of living. I never want to become so jaded or cynical or bored that I’m not amazed anymore.

I want to live a life where to be spiritual is to be amazed. I want to live a life where I believe in the wonder of the divine.

Where does this sense of wonder come from?

Perhaps it’s gratitude, perhaps it’s in following our creativity, perhaps it’s in intentionally following our curiosity. Perhaps it’s remembering to look closer, to take time, to be mindful.

Moments of wonder are right in front of me every day. Radical wonder is a whole other level. Radical wonder means treating everyday things with a sense of adventure, delight, and freshness.

Every school holidays I’d tell my kids, ‘We’re going on an adventure.’ It might be to a local waterfall, or a drive up the coast, or a surprise visit to a friend, but I’d call it an adventure. Sometimes they’d look at me as if I was crazy, but I’d say, ‘Wow!’ at everything even remotely interesting.

Then they’d start to ‘wow!’ along with me. I tried to teach my children that the ordinary, the beautiful, the profound, are all opportunities for radical wonder.


As Elaine wrote,  the possibilities of wonder are endless! Let’s get creative, put on the lens of thankfulness and see that shift in finding wonder. What things do you find wonder in?

Make sure to read more from Elaine right HERE.

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