The word wonderful in the dictionary is revealed as exciting a feeling of wonder; marvellous or strange.
For me the word conjures up mystery.
Something could be said to make us wonder if it appears in full or in part to defy definition or even description. Something is wonderful if it leaves us perhaps speechless or somewhat overwhelmed, even mystified. Wonderful means full of wonder, amazing. For me it also possibly suggests that something could be confusing, vexing, disturbing, even possibly shocking.
“I wonder what that means?”
“It makes me wonder what’s going on?”
“I wonder what that could possibly be?”
And when we are stumped by God’s virtue it is often said, “the Lord works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform!”
Wonderful – such a choice, well used, even adored word. It can be such a powerful adjective when used to intensify our statements and feelings. Wonderful is so often appropriately used in honour of God and his ways. It is commonly sung in the verses of songs of praise and abundantly recorded in the ancient hymns of worship and adoration. Even our private and public prayers are very often filled with this word when we speak to or of our God.
Yet why is it that we seem to close down the mystery and wonder of God so soundly? In our theology and the definitions of God, his character, deeds, ways? Why is it that we have so effectively developed tight, systematic theology and doctrine? How did orthodoxy ascend to the cerebral heights it now occupies? How is it that we define so precisely and articulately what we in worship declare as mysterious and full of wonder? And how did spiritual methodology become so logical, so worldly, so empirical?
Could it be said that when the mystery and wonder of God seems to visit that we so easily tend to try pitch our tents and camp at mere signs (which are, as their name suggests, merely directives which point to something rather than being the destination itself) and punish wondering (perhaps because it reveals our nakedness)?
Could it be that we have somehow lost sight of the pursuit of truth being a wonderful journey and not a destination?
I wonder if this could be a sign for this generation?