Do you ever wonder? If you Google the word wonder you’ll see two definitions, one a noun and one a verb. Wonder as a noun is a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. Wonder as a verb is to be curious to know something or to feel admiration and amazement; to marvel. I wonder, do you ever wonder?
Today it seems as if we are too busy to wonder and even when we aren’t too busy we spend our time amusing ourselves instead of spending time musing by ourselves. Amusement is great, we all like to be amused, we all like to just chill and zone out for a bit to unwind. Most of us spend a large chunk of our time and resources on amusement or on freeing ourselves up so we can go be amused. That’s cool and i’m all for a little amusement and escape but we need to remember that the word amuse is a-muse, the opposite of muse, just as atheist is the opposite of theist. Muse as a verb means to consider something thoughtfully, where amusement is entertainment, diversion, and enjoyable occupation of time. I wonder how often you’ve sat down to think, to ponder, to muse in the past month. We are so busy living that we forget to be alive. We don’t give thought to our path, we just take the first step and chalk it up to “following our hearts” as if that were virtuous and not ridiculous. Many of us are turning ourselves into the walking dead, the zombie apocalypse is starting and the name of the virus is amusement.
You might be thinking “Park, that’s great that you have time to muse or whatever, but some of us don’t have time to sit around and ponder, or whatever.” I get that, I really do. But as my Pops always says: “you make time for the things you love”. Now ain’t that the truth. If you love something you will make time for it. My goal in this post is to help you love pondering again.
Why do I say again? Well chances are you used to wonder a lot more than you do now. When you were a kid you’d look at something and wonder what it was, you’d most likely ask your parents, siblings, aunts or uncles, teachers, friends- whoever. I don’t mean to be cliché and tell you to get in touch with your inner child or anything, but maybe there is some truth in that old adage. Start wondering again. Take some time, turn off Spotify for just a little bit, close Netflix and YouTube, take some time off Facebook and Instagram, Twitter and snap chat, close your emails and Facebook messenger and text that person back later. Take some time and wonder.
Take a walk. Go for a quiet drive. Go to the zoo. Consider your life. One of my favorite thinkers makes an astute observation when he says that we spend hours and hours making mission statements for projects and companies but most of us never even take a moment to make a mission statement for our own lives, which should be infinitely more important.
What do I get out of this? Why do I care if you wonder or not? Well for one, I believe my generation needs to be woken from our slumber. We are sloppy thinkers. We all have opinions because.. Well… We’re American! And American’s have to have an opinion about everything despite the fact that most of us have no justification for the opinion we hold to. We love physical fitness and hate mental fitness. That’s a problem, especially if we don’t want the plot of the movie Idiocracy to become reality. Secondly and more important than having a well rounded society, I want to push you closer to God. I think if you take time to wonder you’ll come face to face with your own inconsistencies as I did and as I continue to do. I think deep down we’re afraid of the answers that are out there. It’s my contention that we spend so much time and money on amusement because we don’t want to face the deep questions that hide in the back of minds. These questions lie dormant waiting for us to have some down time, then they spring to the forefront and wreak havoc on our peace of mind. Instead of avoiding these sleeping giants, why not face them on your terms? Instead of waiting for tragedy to strike why not make time throughout your week to wonder, to ponder, to muse over some of life’s tougher questions and look for some answers?
Instead of an all out free for all, I’d like to give you some tracks to run on. Here are a few questions to think on, to muse over, to consider, to chew on, to wonder about:
Why is there something rather than nothing? Why am I here? Am I the result of a cosmic accident or was I put here for a purpose? What is my purpose? How do I know? What do I believe about God? Is there a God? Can I know Him? Can God speak to us if He wants? How do I live in light of my answers?
What happened and is broken in this world? Why are there wars? Why is there killing and evil here? What is evil? Do humans have intrinsic worth and value? Do we have minds or just brains? If I have a mind how can I know others have minds? How do I know? How do I live in light of my answers?
Is there any hope, and if so what is it? How can what is broken be made right? Is there justice? What Is justice? Why do I want justice except when it turns back on me? What is hope? How do I know? How do I live in light of my answers?
Where is history headed? Are we as humans getting more loving? Less loving? Have we stayed the same? Is there an end coming? Does it even matter? How do I know? How do I live in light of my answers?
What is truth? Can we know it? Does truth exist? How do I know? How can I know? What do I know? Do I really live out what I believe about Truth and knowledge?
What’s my favorite animal? Why did I pick this one? Am I obligated to fight for animal lives? Are animals as important as humans? Are animals more important than animals? How do I know? How do I live in light of my answers?
What’s love? Do I believe in life after love? Is love a virtue or just a chemical process in the brain? How do I know? How do I live in light of what I believe about love?
This isn’t an exhaustive list but these questions represent some of our deepest convictions and I’m afraid many of us have never given them serious thought. Your answers to these kinds of questions make up your worldview or conceptual system. We all have a worldview, it’s literally how we view the world. Ever since I began considering my own worldview I’ve realized how slow and pudgy my mind was. I’d been in a lull for years and I hadn’t challenged my mind or exercised my imagination on anything of value since I was a kid. Don’t be like me. Make some time to really wonder. Take one or two of these questions and start pulling on that thread and see where it leads you. Take the red pill Neo. I wonder what you’ll find down that rabbit trail.