I remember as a little person traveling to many places with my family. We took at least one family vacation together each year. My first airplane ride was at two weeks of age. Like any typical child, I had many questions and an endless imagination. Growing up in rural Texas, you learn early on how to create your own fun. What may be unexpected for you to imagine about a young girl growing up surrounded by nothing but fields was my fascination with sharks. I read and collected everything I could about sharks. My parents had gotten a subscription to National Geographic for kids. They dedicated one whole magazine topic to all things sharks. I marveled at the facts contained within the pages. I was amazed by their size, the way they hunted, heart-broken by the thought of them being killed, and even dreamt for the day that I could touch their skin (from the safety of a cage). To a child, wonder is relatively easy. I am not negating the fact that not all people grow up feeling safe to dream, wonder, and explore. However, most people will agree that wonder helps children learn.
Even today in adulthood, I still wonder about different things. It is still an integral part of learning. I will wonder about something and seek knowledge on the subject. Today I was thinking about the “four living creatures.” The creatures are mentioned in Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10, then again in Revelation chapters 4-6, 14-15 and 19. I will not go into the descriptions of the creatures, but I would like to focus on their movement and purpose.
In Ezekiel, these creatures are said to be moving with the spirit. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go. They are near the throne. Stopping where the spirit stops, moving where the spirit moves. (I seem to remember a game played as a child where we shadowed the leader, following them, moving with them). These are living, created beings, moving in tandem to the spirit’s movements. They are doing what we are called to do, move with Holy Spirit. If He pauses, we pause. If He pivots, we pivot.
In Revelation 4, we get a clearer picture of their purpose. “Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and it, and is to come.”” When you are around someone day and night, you learn who they are, their attributes, their nature, in this case, His majesty. Awareness and proximity allow us to have insight and knowledge. I have heard it taught that they can fly around doing this day and night, because they are constantly seeing another facet of who He is.
What I wonder is, what was the first facet they saw that made them begin this endless praise and worship? I cannot think that God, not forcing us to choose Him, would require these living, created creatures to worship and praise Him. It was a choice. It was an ongoing observation that makes them cry out with reverence for Him. They must have become aware. They must have opened themselves up to wonder, to marvel, to linger and to love.
To not allow oneself to wonder is to miss the wonderful.