The Pilgrim’s Pensieve #4

Questions, Wonder and Myths

Have you ever met that little child who asks about everything? Perhaps you were such a kid or you are palming your face right now because you are the adult on the receiving ending of a childish inquisition. Children are blessed with the wondrous ability to look at the world with wide-eyed awe. The world is truly a strange and amazing place but somehow we grow and lose this ability. One of the signs of the loss of a sense of awe is our inability to ask questions.

Well some might think of it as a relief that we do not bother our minds that are already preoccupied with the cares of life. We get to a certain age and life seems pretty straightforward. There’s really nothing to see, we say with a half-hearted shrug. When the cement of daily life becomes hard set then questions are no longer a childish convenience, they become the enemy. Questions are the things we fear even though they were our childhood guides and faithful companions throughout life. They were our way of navigating through this huge, new world we had only recently become members of.

The faint whisper of puzzlement and wonder still lingers even though we do not wish to entertain such idle ideas as we call them. Yet there are moments that its voice booms loudly in our hearts. It usually happens when we are confronted with sheer love and beauty or face the horrors of loss and evil. The “hows” and the “whys” come rushing in on us and our hearts are overwhelmed by reality itself. You see the questions never left us but we neatly shelved them in the cold dark basement of personal apathy and disdain.

It isn’t that Narnia no longer exists but rather we have done a Susan. A world that is more mysterious, even magical I daresay, than we could imagine, threatens our contrived ways of living. In the Bible we are presented with such a world with unseen and powerful dimensions. This facet of existence does not occasionally burst in on us but we cohabit created space with it.

C.S. Lewis described the scriptural saga as a true myth. Moreover we have the hero of the story who far excels all literary characters. In philosophical terms, the greatest conceivable being. This being is Yahweh, the God of Israel, whom we find in Jesus the crucified Messiah. Through the resurrection of the Son of God the world is being made anew and we have been born again in this new emerging reality. This newness of life requires a new sense of awe, a new creation impetus to search things out.

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