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For the want of wonder

by Rachel Moye  |  March 07, 2012  |  Type: Stories

All my life, I’ve been searching. Searching for the satiable. The thing in life that will quench my deepest desires. From the Eiffel Tower’s sparkle at midnight to the sunsets of Santorini, this feeling of wonder has led me to the ends of the world.

And for a minute, it feels awe-inspiring. After seeking and finding such beauty, my soul was ablaze with passion, wonder, excitement, and for a moment – contentment. Time stops, nothing else matters, and it’s just me and the object of my gaze.

You would think that after seeing something as beautiful as the Cape Point, South Africa I’d be content. But, I’m not. We’re not. A few more weeks pass, and the search continues. 

As G.K Chesterton puts it, “We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.” Meaning, humans are never at a loss for the want of wonder. We will always seek the next beautiful thing, the thing more magnificent than the last. Whether that's physical or monetary gain ... we won't stop until we have more.

I believe this mystery leads us to travel the ends of the world or participate in other thrill-seeking activities. But, I have to ask "Why – why, won’t these magical places or things satisfy are longing for beauty or contentment?"

There must be something more at the root of our conquest.

Now, let’s go back to Chesterton. People are “perishing in for want of wonder.” Perishing. People are literally perishing every day seeking beauty and wonder, because they are seeking in the wrong places. It becomes clear to me that if you’re living without the source of beauty, you’ll never understand the fullness and richness of its existence.

I must ask then, "What on earth (or not) will fulfill this longing?"

If creation draws us to worship, we are also drawn to the Creator. The Creator will always be greater than the creation, for creation is only a mere reflection of the beauty, goodness, and majesty in He who made it. In my mind, it makes sense. We were created to create, and to enjoy creation by a perfect Creator. Satisfaction only comes from knowing Him. Not knowing about him, but actually experiencing Him.

God is the beauty we seek. He must encompass everything that is beautiful. And if this is true, this means that He is here, with us, this very moment.

This must explain our need to constantly be in the presence of beautiful things. We are desperately craving His presence. Made in His image and made to worship, it’s the only place or state on earth that will fulfill our longing. And unless we learn to live in a state of constant communion with God, we won’t be satisfied.

If creation is only a glimpse of God, my earthly, limited mind cannot even begin to understand God’s glory. My voice raises praises of Holy, holy, holy. My perspective changes as I realize that He must increase as I decrease. He becomes worthy of my affection, my life, and my worship. And that holy experience of finding and knowing God will result in the richest form of joy imaginable.

A sunset will never be the same.


Rachel Moye serves as the Communications Specialist at NCF. She lives in Atlanta and loves sharing the joy and hope found in living generously.

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