Civilization's Downfall

(picture originally uploaded to Flickr by ~pinkpashmina~)

I’ve been reading ReJesus by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch. It’s a great book, and I plan on posting a review of it as soon as I finish it.

There was this great quote I ran across, though, from a man named Abraham Heschel in the book that I found rather fascinating:

“As civilization advances, the sense of wonder almost necessarily declines. Such decline is an alarming symptom of our state of mind. Mankind will not perish for want of information, but only for want of appreciation. The beginning of our happiness lies in the understanding that life without wonder is not worth living. What we lack is not a will to believe, but a will to wonder.”

We spend so much time in making sure we are teaching the “right” things and making sure people know the “right” answers. We distill the Word of God to a list of stories and facts and knowledge that must be memorized and mastered and quoted. We forget about the mystery, the wonder, the awe of the story of God. God becomes someone we must strive to understand rather than the infinite creator of the universe who longs to have a relationship with us.

What are your thoughts when you read the quote?

Can we keep civilization from losing its sense of wonder? How?

I believe one crucial step we can take in helping cultures/communities/civilizations from losing that wonder is by taking a cue from children and find awe and amazement in the little things around us.

What do you think?


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