Thursday, 23 September 2021

T To Your Health

Keep Your Wow Working

Sophistication scares the wonder out of us. Cynicism downright annihilates it. Wonder leaves no room for meanness, for where wonder is, kindness is also. Wonder isn’t harsh, but as gentle as rain.” - Connie Powers

Have you heard the story about the little girl who was home with her father during a terrible lightning storm? At one point the father realized his daughter was up in the attic by herself and he was concerned that she might be afraid. When he got up to her, he found her with her nose plastered to the window. He asked her if she was afraid and she replied, “No, daddy. God is taking my picture.”


Oh, the wonders of childhood! Close your eyes and think back to a time when you were a child and were experiencing something so exciting, mysterious, and surprising that it filled you with a sense of wonder, awe, and amazement. It was so real that you could see it, feel it, hear it, smell it and taste it all at the same time. Childhood wonder is like that.

However, by the time we reach middle age, we’ve experienced many “...watersheds in our lives when our dreams die, when our imaginations become hardened along with our arteries and wonder goes fleeting out the windows.”
(2) Watersheds that diminish our sense of wonder can include any adultish thing, such as being too busy, holding a job, raising a family, or times of trauma and loss. Negative emotions, such as anger, worry, stress, anxiety, and depression also drain our wonder reservoir. One symptom is how often we can pass a field of wild irises, or even a single columbine, without stopping long enough to let our “wow” work and our appreciation for their Maker gush forth.

“The late 60s folk legends, Peter, Paul, and Mary ... had a song called, ‘Puff the Magic Dragon.’ It described the fantasy worlds of children and the loss of innocence ... [when] one day the scales of wonder fall like rain. We cease hearing the voice of childhood, and even the voice of God, because our lives become louder. The crescendo of our possessions, the noise of our careers, the soul-smothering volume of everyday existence drowns out that still small voice that comes with the breath of a light whisper.”

Losing our sense of wonder can dull our creativity, diminish our sense of purpose and joy, and even steal our passion for life, leaving us disenchanted, disillusioned, and dissatisfied - with life in general and the things and people around us.

Psychologist Rollo May wrote, “There is no necessary conflict between science and the sense of wonder and mystery. Mystery does not consist of what we don’t know; nor does it diminish as we come to know more. What we do need is an attitude toward life that appreciates the grandeur and awe in everyday things, such as the pearl of water from the dew on each blade of grass, which contains the spectrum of all the rainbow colors. I am proposing an attitude which appreciates the awe of existence.

“The blocking of one’s capacity for wonder and the capacity to appreciate mystery can have serious effects upon our psychological health, not to mention the health of our whole planet,” May continued. “Psychologically, this ‘psychic numbing,’ this dulling or absence of sensitivity, leads to a loss of the sense of grandeur of life and death, and makes for boredom. Boredom is the loss of the capacity to wonder, to appreciate the sense of mystery and awe in life.” (4)

Albert Einstein said, “He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” Without doubt, then, retaining or regaining a child-like sense of wonder, awe, and passion for life is the way to experience life to the full, versus dying a little bit, day by day. Not only so, if you have children, your WOW-ability is going to be contagious. “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder,” wrote Rachel Carlson, “he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

For some adults, WOW is a central component of their personality, affecting their life in many ways, perhaps most significantly their ability to savor even the small things that other “grown ups” just take for granted. This quality is rare, however. In fact, I have only known one adult who lives this way consistently. Whether its a wild flower poking through the snow, a particular rock formation, the golden splendor of a single aspen leaf in the fall when held up to the sun against a cobalt blue sky, a crystal clear spring running down from the rocks behind his home, the colors on the side of a high mountain lake trout, the majesty of a six point bull elk in the back yard, or just the wonder of planting seeds in the spring and nurturing the plants until the time of harvest has come and then sharing the produce with friends and family. Of all the men I’ve known, Monte Swan is the one who comes closest to my own understanding of what Jesus may have meant when He spoke of adults becoming “as little children” so they can see the Kingdom of Heaven. In the book I helped Monte write, Romancing Your Child’s Heart, there are many practical suggestions about how to renew your sense of wonder and share it with your children, if you still have some at home. If you’re a grandparent, rediscovering your sense of wonder with your grandchildren could help you live a longer and happier life.

The following lyrics are part of a song entitled, “Fires of His Wonder,” and used here with his permission:

If I’ve lost my sense of wonder,
What’s the sense of living at all?
When the child in me can’t remember,
Or hear my little boy’s call?

Since writing that book and its Workbook with Monte, I’ve been privileged to publish his most recent work: The Secret of Singing Springs, which is featured elsewhere in this issue of TWSJ.

Sir Isaac Newton wrote, “I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”(5)

Note: Nothing in this article or any article or book authored or published by Dr. Biebel is intended as medical advice or to replace the advice and/or treatment of a qualified medical professional, which he is not. He is a “soul doctor” committed to passing along what he believes to be reliable health-related information, which a reader may use at his or her own risk.

(1)This article is adapted from the book: 70 Ways to Beat 70, by David B. Biebel, DMin; James E. Dill, MD; and, Bobbie Dill, RN. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
(2)From the sermon “Dream Stealers, Dream Makers” by The Rev. Dr. Robert J. Campbell, Church of the Covenant.
(4)Wonder and Ethics in Therapy, Rollo May Ph.D.

Columnist: Dr. David B. Biebel

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Dr. Biebel has authored or co-authored twenty books, including one bestseller: If God Is So Good, Why Do I Hurt So Bad? and the Gold Medallion winner, New Light on Depression. His recent releases include Making God Visible and Away in a Manger: The Christmas Story from a Nativity Scene Lamb's Point of View.

His goal is to help people attain and retain optimal physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational health (personal wholeness) so they can love the Lord with their whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and their neighbors as themselves. He founded Healthy Life Press ( to help new authors with something to contribute in this arena to get their works into print.

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