Wonder vs Familiar – What’ll It Be? Order UP!

Familiar vs Wonder? What'll It Be? Order UP! by Pearl Allard (Look Up Sometimes)

This post was inspired by Five Minute Friday‘s word prompt: familiar. The idea is to write for five minutes and hit publish before editing. I’m clearly a misfit.

“Come hell or high water,” I told my good friend once, describing how I’d do whatever it took to blog consistently.

Except – when hell comes, it might come as a dream that insidiously slides in. So subtle we don’t see it coming. Or we kinda do, but it looks so good we open wide the door and tell ourselves it will just be a short visit.


Familiar vs Wonder? What'll It Be? Order UP! by Pearl Allard (Look Up Sometimes)

I am ashamed to admit how much time in my life has been wasted, hurting myself and others through my own sin. I don’t need to go into it, as I’m sure you’d rather not go into yours. It’s painful. You know this, already.

I’m reading Crossing the Waters by Leslie Leyland Fields and in one of the opening chapters she quotes G.K. Chesterton.

It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never gotten tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.


Familiarity — the thief of wonder.

I dutifully head to my Bible, half-cursing that I’ve a group of people counting on me and I’ve got worse than nothing to give them and half-desperate for God to reveal Himself again even in my sorry state.

The sunlight ebbs and flows as the clouds drift pass. Exactly my mental state. I’ve tried reasoning with myself, practicing gratitude, taking a walk, eating, trying to pitch in with family chores – none of it works. I’m a sour mess, liable to poison whomever I contact.

Then I open the Word, and I see the light begin to unfold and unpack the truth with which I thought I’d grown familiar. Explaining that what Jesus accomplished means I’m no longer a slave to sin and all its consequences but I can be a slave to righteousness reaping holiness. There’s no door number three.

Christ purchased a new identity for me and it’s fitting for me to act out of my new identity now – to give God the parts of my body instead of sin. So what does that look like? How am I tempted to give the parts of my body to sin? I had to think about it.

I was tempted to give my mind to discontent. And want things I wasn’t given. But the way it ought to look is I offer God my sacrifice of thanksgiving (see how I snuck that in for Thanksgiving weekend?) and I want what I already have. And enjoy it. Stuff I thought I knew frontwards and backwards and eyes shut and upside down. But who cares what anyone knows? We want to EXPERIENCE it.

I’m grateful that God is devoted to me even when I’m not even fulfilling my duty to Him.

My prayer for me, and you, is that we wouldn’t be satisfied with living even an hour in the dead ends of sin. That our wonder would be continuously renewed, to the infinite identity, life, and purpose we’ve been gifted. That we wouldn’t be satisfied to just look at the gift, or touch it, or hold it, or tell about it but that we’d immerse ourselves in the beauty of unwrapping it, experiencing it.

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 24-25

16 thoughts on “Wonder vs Familiar – What’ll It Be? Order UP!

  1. “Then I open the Word…”
    That is how the plot shifts in my story too . . . if I pause and drink it in. But oh, the wonder, when He shines glorious light into my soul and takes me to a new or deeper understanding of who he is or who I am in Christ.


  2. Pearl, what an encouraging message. I love the Chesterton quote about God saying, “Do it again,” each morning to the sun.

    How involved God is in our physical universe! It is up to me to allow Him to be equally involved in the spiritual universe that dwells inside my heart.

    1. Debbie, so grateful you were encouraged. 🙂 Isn’t that quote amazing? I’ve been studying the Christmas story and this year have been struck with the Magi. The work they expended to chase wonder wows me. I’m glad the God of wonder chases us to work for Him!

  3. “Familiarity — the thief of wonder.” Pearl, I resonated with you as you told your story. Within Christian circles, it becomes a silent detractor from stepping out in faith. Your last paragraph echoes much of what C.S. Lewis talks about in “Mere Christianity” (last chapter). We are discussing it in my small group.

    1. Stephanie, I love C.S. Lewis! His work influenced me in college. That’s been awhile, but maybe some rereading is in order. I love how you worded, “it becomes a silent detractor from stepping out in faith.” Yes, exactly. May God help us do the work of wonder so we’re well equipped to step out in faith. Thankful you stopped by!

  4. Great post, though I have to say that as my life is constrained further and further by illness (yesterday was the first time I left the property in over a year), familiarity has to be the midwife to wonder…else I would go mad, because the familiar is all I have.

    I suppose it’s a matter of necessity being the mother of whatever, but I’m awfully glad for the grace that allows me to see the new in the old.

    #1 at FMF this week.


    1. Andrew, I so appreciate you and your comment. I am terribly sorry if my post caused additional pain to what you must already be facing. I may have communicated poorly. Let me clarify I was not referring to surroundings, just a mentality I recognized in myself that smacked of pride. My brother, before he died, was constrained, but he had a rare appreciation for the wonder of life. What I had hoped to convey was simply that I will never truly grasp all of who God is – how could I? So if I have lost awe, wonder can be restored. I hope this makes sense. It sounds like you may be lightyears ahead of me in your understanding, so I thank you for your graciousness. Prayers for your health and every blessing to you, brother. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  5. oh…to have that wonder renewed eh? My boy is good at that when he points out something amazing with his ant and spider collection…we see the marvellous things God has done and it just brightens our day and helps us see God all the more. I am a FMF neighbour

  6. “That our wonder would be continuously renewed, to the infinite identity, life, and purpose we’ve been gifted.” And this “…immerse ourselves in the beauty of unwrapping it, experiencing it.” May God enable us to do just that, to look at things through new eyes and really experience the day to day joy in the ordinary things He brings to our days.

    Blessings to you! Thanks for visiting my blog today. 🙂

  7. I love your comparison of wonder and familiar. I never thought of familiar as being the thief of wonder but you are correct. I too struggle with being content. I also am challenged with in-the-box thinking and often bound by my couch potato mentality. I agree with you in prayer and look forward to some unwrapping and experiencing what God has in store for me.

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