It has been several months since I posted about *revel*, my 2015 word of the year.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it.
In April, I thought about writing Revel in Rest after the convention. Karen from living, unabridged recommended that.
In May, I didn’t think about much of anything because I got sick.
In June, I considered writing about ‘Revel on the Way’ because our Associate Pastor has been preaching through Mark and emphasizing the life of the disciple walking on the way with Jesus. If you read closely in Mark, Jesus and the disciples are always setting out on the way.
In July and August, I realized that going back into June – and before – I kept posting about Wonder.
I was talking with Mystie recently and she said “Wonder really goes with *revel*, doesn’t it?” Yes, yes it does. And, really, all of those ideas … rest, the way, and Wonder all go together to build *revel*.
Let’s think back, lo these many months, on the definition of *revel*: “to take great pleasure or delight.” In June, I wrote this:
To *revel* must certainly start with a sense of Wonder. When we find deep joy and satisfaction in something we wonder. Can we *revel* without a sense of wondering at the good, the true, the beautiful? I think that’s an idea I’d like to consider more deeply. I like the idea that to *revel* is to go beyond the prosaic and see mountain streams of Wonder and truth.
The word Wonder can be used as a noun, adjective, verb, and adverb.
A Wonder is a marvel, a thing that astounds us. It is a thing which causes us to pause and contemplate. A Wonder can be concrete – a beautiful place, an ant, a person. A Wonder can be abstract – an action, gravity, God’s love.
Something wonderful or wonderous is splendid, worthy of considering, amazing, divine. When we use the term wonderful we are praising it. Sometimes we are announcing awe or astonisment that it could be true.
We can actively Wonder. I wonder when dinner will be ready (I suppose I ought to cook it!) I wonder if this tree will survive the winter. I wonder how God measures the seas. It isn’t always just a question, either. When I express awe at – when I Wonder at – the creation, I’m not simply questioning the hows and whys and wherefores but I respect, drop my jaw, yea *revel* in God and what he has wonderfully (adverb!) made. That adverb pulls all these senses together.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Jain and Clark’s spiraling paradigm – Brandy called it the 4 Ws last week – of Wonder, Work, Wisdom, Worship. I’m pretty sure the spiral begins with Wonder. This is the joy of childhood. What is that? Why? How? Children express their Wonder – in both the noun and the verb – as they question the world around them. They are intrigued by the marvel and they want to know about it. As we age, we seem to lose this. And sometimes, as parents, we kill this sense of wondering.
Martin Cothran wrote about children’s wonder in this old article, The Rhetoric of Amazement: What children’s literature tells us about the world
Anthony Esolen talks about this in his book 10 Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child :
If we loved children, we would have a few. If we had them, we would want them as children, and would love the wonder with which they behold the world, and would hope that some of it might open our own eyes a little.
The question is can we recapture it?
I want to learn to *revel* in this amazing life God has given me. He has shown me many marvels, many Wonders, and I have glimpsed but few. If I want to *revel*, I have to pay attention and become as a little child who seeks the Wonders which start the spiral toward worship.
We Wonder, then we Work, put in effort to gain knowledge and fear of the Lord which is, of course, the beginning of Wisdom and this increase of Wisdom causes us to Worship which feeds back into Wonder of God’s character, being, creation, providence … this paradigm is naturally, restfully walking along the way in discipleship.