Auguste Rodin [1840-1917] was a celebrated, world-renowned French sculptor. Talking about the strange barrenness that in his day affected the productions of literature and art, he said, “My compatriots have lost the art of admiration.” I was struck by the sadness of this remark; it is surely a tragedy to lose our sense of wonder. We’ve all been charmed by our children and their wide-eyed delight in a multitude of things and situations. When do we lose that? When does the world grow grey and commonplace? Many poets lamented about this, and English poet A.E. Houseman wrote:
When first my way to fair I took
Few pence in purse had I,
And long I used to stand and look
At things I could not buy.
Now times are altered; if I care
To buy a thing I can
The pence are here, and here’s the fair,
But where’s the lost young man?
The world is in a constant rush. There are so many things demanding our attention and exacting our time. The pressure of life has never been more intense. Even in lockdown the pressure is there; it may be taking a different form but we still feel its weight. Do you have time to be amazed? Have you stopped to look around you recently? For example, have you thought about and admired the wonders of creation?
One of my great pleasures is to spend time with nature and my camera. It quietens my spirit and nourishes my heart as I wander around, seeking out and taking pictures that captivate me. Yahweh never disappoints; His world thrills and awes me. I have noticed, however, that I need to take time to be amazed. I need to stop and look and observe; I need to be quiet.
In our daily lives this observation has come to be known as ‘counting my blessings’. Have you counted yours recently? We need to take time to count, to notice, to be grateful, to feel amazed. Let’s not take things for granted, nor lose our sense of wonder, but make some time to be filled with amazement and admiration.
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?