Let me introduce you to my friend, Greg Richardson. Greg is a spiritual mentor, and executive and organizational coach, in Pasadena, California. Greg has served as a criminal prosecutor, an executive, and a university professor. Greg’s website is StrategicMonk.com. You can follow Greg on Twitter at @StrategicMonk, and his Facebook page is strategicmonk.com.
Throughout this year, I want to introduce you to some of my friends. People whose voices I know, respect, and appreciate. Their words often challenge me in my thinking and faith. I hope they'll challenge you, too. Enjoy!
I am learning to recognize the Wonder of the Sacred in unexpected ways.
There have been times when I expected to find wonder in intense emotions. If it is wonder, then it must be pretty dramatic, right? Weeks or months would pass without the jolt of recognition. I would be convinced that either I had missed it, or I was living a life without wonder. If there were no emotional fireworks, no thunder and lightning, then no wonder.
There have also been times when I expected to find wonder through focused analysis. Sacred wonder may not be an experience of the heart, but of the mind. If I could work it out intellectually, searching for deep truths by weighing the evidence and measuring accurately. I found some complex, serious questions that I could not work out to my own satisfaction. Again, I came to see that I must be missing something.
Slowly but surely, over some time, I came to appreciate that filling my life with wonder was not a project I had undertaken. It was not something that I needed to, or even could, deserve. It was not my task to collect all the amazing emotions or insightful intellectual discoveries that I could carry. The Wonder of the Sacred was not something I could accumulate, manipulate, or control.
I slowly learned to stop trying. I came to see that all my effort and all my ability did not bring me closer to the wonder I desperately wanted. There was no point in trying to hoard what I found; the best thing I could do was release my grip and let go.
As I began to slow down and stop trying to control the wonder, I found that I could breathe again. I could breathe deeply and become aware of the people and things around me in new ways. It was not that my emotions or my intellect were bad or sinful; I was being drawn to something deeper. It was amazing!
The Wonder of the Sacred was more intimately with me than I had ever imagined. It is in the trees and the sky and the faces that I see every day. It is in the words of Scripture, and in the silent solitude of listening and waiting. It is all around me, and it is within me.
I continue to grow and learn by slowing down and letting go. There are untold depths, and untold wonder, to be explored. I think I am making a good beginning, and the wonder will always be beyond my ability to measure and understand.
Indeed, "It's a wonder-filled life"--not just during the holiday season but throughout the year.
*Original photo found here