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Guest Post – Have You Had Your Daily Dose of Awe? Christine Aroney-Sine

April 10, 2019

It is my pleasure and honor to welcome my dear friend Christine Aroney-Sine to the blog today.

Christine and her husband Tom are co-founders of Mustard Seed Associates and Christine is the founder and facilitator for GodSpace, an online community. She trained as a physician in Australia, practiced medicine in New Zealand, and developed and directed the healthcare ministry for Mercy Ships.

The Gift of Wonder is her latest book which was released on March 26, 2019. It can be ordered via IVP or Amazon: Order Gift of Wonder: IVP or Amazon

Welcome, Christine!

Here in Seattle spring is erupting in all its glory. Daffodils and tulips smiled at me as I walk along. Cherry blossoms take my breath away as drive down tree lined streets and lush green grass emerged in the barren spots in our backyard. I watch the kids as they climb trees to smell the fragrance of the cherry blossoms and giggle with delight while running barefoot through the grass. Unfortunately I am too inhibited and too busy to join them. I just snap a photo and move on.

It is sad that like me, most adults rarely get out and have fun unfettered by the tyranny of urgent deadlines and rigid schedules. Yet according to Stuart Brown of the National Institute for Play adults need to play just as much as kids do. He says nothing lights up the brain like play. He believes it is as important as oxygen for our survival and may be God’s greatest gift to humankind.

Unless you become like children you cannot enter the kingdom of God. These words in Matthew 18 riveted my attention a couple of years ago and helped change my perspective.

When I asked my Facebook friends What childlike characteristics make us fit for the kingdom? An amazing list emerged: playfulness, awe and wonder, imagination, curiosity, love of nature, and many more. Tragically we live in a world of play deprivation, nature deficit disorder, and awe and wonder depletion. I think that as a consequence we are God deprived too.

I am increasingly convinced that rediscovering child-like wonder and the joy of play is essential for our spiritual health. Awe and wonder, imagination and curiosity connect us to the God who is present in every moment and everything in a way that nothing else can. These qualities enrich our contemplative core and expand our horizons to explore new aspects of our world and of our God.

It was this conviction that prompted me to write The Gift of Wonder in which I explore twelve childlike characteristics that I think make us fit for God’s kingdom. Did you know that a daily dose of awe makes us more caring people? Regular reminiscing and nature walks make us healthier and more emotionally stable people. Gratitude transforms our lives and our faith in incredible ways.

Children experience awe a hundred times a day, adults rarely do but as a result of my research I have added a “daily dose of awe” experience to my spiritual disciplines. My husband and I rechristen our daily walks awe and wonder walks. We point out to each other the blossom laden trees and brilliant smiling daffodils and tulips that take our breath away. Sometimes we stop for a few minutes just to admire them. It is fun and inspirational, connecting us to God in vital and enriching ways.

My own increasing joy and delight as I did this made me apply the same principal to other activities. My daily dose of awe sometimes comes from plane trips and drives around the neighborhood or out into the country. On the plane, I am the one with my window shutter down when everyone is trying to see their screens. I am inspired by the landscape we pass over. I am particularly captivated by the meandering rivers shining in the morning sunlight. That’s God doodling I exclaim.

God Doodling

Awe begets awe. As we take notice of the awe inspiring aspects of our world, we start to notice awe and wonder wherever we go.

Believing in a God who loves to get dirty hands planting gardens, makes mud pies to put on the eyes of the blind, and does happy dances and sings with joy over all of humanity and in fact all of creation has revolutionized my faith.

I want to continue noticing the wonder of the changing seasons and immerse myself in their beauty. I want to increasingly be drawn into the presence of our fun loving, joy filled God. This is a great time to get out and have some fun in God’s world. Will you join me in discovering the wonder of God and of God’s world? Plan a play date, go for a walk through your favorite park and take time to enjoy the beauty and wonder of God.

———————-

Christine Aroney-Sine Christine Aroney-Sine is the founder and facilitator for God Space, an online community that grew out of her passion for creative spirituality, gardening, and sustainability. In her new book The Gift of Wonder (IVP March 2019) she explores characteristics like play, curiosity and imagination that shape us into the people God intends us to be. Other books include Rest in the Moment, Return to Our Senses, GodSpace, and Tales of a Seasick Doctor.

You can connect to her on

Twitter https://twitter.com/ChristineSine or

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/christine.sine

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christine.sine/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/christinesine/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Christinesine


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