“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.” – Abraham Joshua Heshcel
This is in my top 10 favorite quotes of all times. Abraham Joshua Heschel was a Polish-American rabbi in the mid-1900’s and has some incredible insight concerning the Torah and how to understand the divine.
In modern American Christianity, I think we’ve lost the connection between being spiritual and being amazed.
There seems to be the thought that to be spiritual……
is to be disciplined.
is to be somber
is to be knowledgeable
is to be… etc.
But rarely does it seem that we join spirituality with amazement, let alone what Heschel claims that “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement”. If you were to ask many Christians what exactly is the goal of the Christian life I’m not sure that radical amazement would be the response.
But Why not?
Jesus said things like – I came that you may have life to the fullest. He’s referring to a particular quality of life.
A full life doesn’t include staring at an incredible creation through the lens of “meh”.
What kind of life would that be?
In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul talks about how the eternal power and divine nature of God have been understood through creation. If God we can catch glimpses of God through creation wouldn’t it make sense that we should continually be amazed?
Unless of course, you don’t find the creator and sustainer of all things all that impressive.
I would suggest that if you’re bored with God or his world then whatever you’re worshipping isn’t really God.
In the depth of my spirit, I want to live just as Heschel writes… take a look at it again.
“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”
We live in a high speed, fast-paced, technology-driven society and we are ever growing ecologically disconnected. No wonder we scoff at the flora and fauna before us. No wonder we yawn at the miracle of the delicate balance of the universe. No wonder we no longer stand in wonder and amazement. We’re slowly removing ourselves from the primary revelation of our creator.
We’ve overstimulated ourselves with social media and screens of all sizes and advertising from all direction that it becomes quite difficult to sit and marvel and the setting sun or to find wonder at the sand flea at is it digs itself into the sand after a passing wave. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
What we often neglect or overlook is that whether it’s studying the subatomic level of quantum physics or peering into the vastness of the planets and what seems to be endless galaxies and universes, or anything in between. To be complacent toward creation and all that is within serves as a great disservice to the creator.