Wonder & Dullness

January 8, 2013 — 2 Comments

So what stops our ability to just jump into the snow? How did we move from the little one with a childlike faith and curiosity to a stressed out adult that longs for that feeling again for a sense of adventure, and wonder? Yaconelli continues in his book talking about the things that steal our wonder, the things that become roadblocks to our ability to dream:

The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality, or school prayer. The critical issue today is dullness. We have lost our astonishment. The Good News is no longer good news, it is okay news. Christianity is no longer life changing, it is life enhancing. Jesus doesn’t change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore, He changes them into “nice people.”

Michael Yaconelli. Dangerous Wonder (Kindle Locations 168-171).

How often do we in youth ministry talk about how media has corrupted our students. We often talk about how today’s music, or movies communicate messages that are counter-active to the agenda of Christ and the Gospel that we try to instill in them. While those things could be true, while they might even actually BE true, how much is Mike’s words about dullness not feel like a jab in the back? We do treat things with dullness. We teach the Word of God, but yet continue as families and youth ministries to build up walls to protect our students and children from going out on a dangerous, wondrous adventure seeking Jesus. We get scared of what that could be, and without knowing it, we contribute to being a dream crusher, a roadblock, a weight not allowing that one under our care to truly experience Jesus in what it means to be completely abandoned to him.

My challenge to myself, and to you, is to avoid dullness. Don’t teach it. Don’t practice it. Help yourself to engage in Wonder and bring others along with you for the ride!

Keith

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I am a young passionate guy who dearly desires God, and have focused much of my energies over the past years on teenagers and families. I love them. I am a huge fan of baseball, and root for the New York Mets. I am usually seen with my coffee mug in my hand, and very rare is the time that there isn't a plethora of ice cream in my freezer. I'm a designer, and love things that have been well designed.

2 responses to Wonder & Dullness

  1. I’m not sure that I agree with Yaconelli on this assessment. The focus on dullness and lack of astonishment, to me, seems more like what modern medicine is focusing on – a symptom, not the root cause. Dullness seems only but a symptom of something deeper, and it should only be used as a device to help us see and tackle the real problems.

    I’m not so sure you can just choose to not be dull, or choose to be astonished. Astonishment comes from seeing or experiencing astonishing. You often need to put yourself in places and situations where that can happen. I’ve heard that there’s a park in Austin that has an amazing swimming area, cliffs, and waterfalls. It sounds cool, but I’m not astonished, nor will I just choose to be astonished about it right now. But, if I actually take the time to drive out there and check it out, I will most likely be astonished (if what people say about it is true).

    What exactly is the root then? I’m not yet entirely sure, and I am working on that in my own life currently. But, I’m fairly certain I won’t get to it if I just focus on trying to not be dull.

    • Yaconelli would agree with you (I think). I do too. The dullness comes in sitting, and hearing about the park (God), the dullness comes in being on the peripheral, the outside looking in. It is not until you actually get up and to to the park that you experience all it has to offer. It is not until you actively jump in, be courageous, and forget about what others may or may not have told you. It’s about you having the boldness to go get it yourself, for you to make your own assumptions, opinions, realities on. You can’t experience the wonder of the park until you go. You can’t experience the wonder of God until you go – until you choose to take it on yourself.

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