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Describing the Practice of Wonder

The faith practice of wonder helps us glimpse with surprise just how creative, faithful, good, big, and present God is.

Wonder: Glimpsing a Surprising God

by Chris Schoon, Director of Thrive-US

Imagine for a moment the giddiness of a four-year-old trying to tell you about how a butterfly paused on the very tip of their nose and looked straight into their eyes.

Or picture another child, arms spread wide, head tilted upward toward the sky, mouth gaping, their tongue out as far as they can stretch it, dizzy with delight as they catch the first snowflakes of the season.

Or think of looking through a telescope and seeing for the first time the divots on Earth’s moon, the glimmering rings around Saturn, or the cluster of stars we call the Milky Way.

I, for one, find myself caught up in a sense of wonder when I slow down enough to notice the brilliant orange of a Baltimore oriole, the sweet aroma of a lilac bush after a spring rain, or the way a cacophony of “ribbiting” frogs can evolve into a symphony of forest musicians. In some of those moments, I’ll borrow the psalmist’s cry “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1, 9) because it seems so fitting. At other times, lingering in silent gratitude is all I can manage.

That sense of delight cascading over the brim of the present moment is at the very center of wonder.

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Helpful Resources for Practicing Wonder

Scripture passages on wonder and a resource list of good things to read, watch, and listen to.

How Can I Practice Wonder?

Ideas and resources for exploring wonder:

Points to Ponder

Explore these questions in personal reflection, at home, or in small groups:

  • Do you know someone who typically encounters the world with a sense of wonder? What makes that person tick?
  • How often do you feel a sense of wonder or awe in your daily routine? What things make you feel that way?
  • What do you wonder about most when it comes to the Christian faith? Why?
  • How might you become more attentive to the wonder-full presence of God in the world?


"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle; the other is as though everything is a miracle."

— Albert Einstein (Tweet this quote.)

Explore Other Faith Practices

Thrive's Faith Practices Project explores twelve Christian practices or spiritual disciplines: sabbath, gratitude, generosity, hospitality, engaging Scripture, justice and mercy, listening, celebration, prayer, wonder, remembering, and service.