I was sitting with a friend in a booth at Marie Callender's restaurant. We hadn’t seen each other for a while because he lives in Europe, so I had driven to San Jose in order to spend some time with him while he was in the States. My friend works with an agency that seeks to develop relationships with local church leaders, providing encouragement and training in the area of church growth. He has a heart to serve, but was expressing the emotional feelings of burnout.
Last year I read a book by Ted Dekker. In the book the author says that often it is new believers that are the most passionate about their faith but from the day of their confession they begin slipping into “the slumber of Christianity.” Many find that they have lost their passion and are only going through the motions. Somehow we lose our sense of gratitude, joy, and wonder.
This was one of those times for my friend, but I could not wait to tell him how my life had changed since I had reconnected to faith in Jesus. Leo Tolstoy marveled at how faith and conversion turns a person around when he said, “Everything that was on my right side is now on my left.” This is where I found myself. I was filled with joy and experiencing wonder in the anticipation of what God was doing. I had been awakened from sleep. I was like a new convert trying to express the inexpressible.
Eugene Peterson says, “It is not easy to convey a sense of wonder, let alone resurrection wonder, to another. It’s the very nature of wonder to catch us off guard, to circumvent expectations and assumptions. Wonder can’t be packaged, and it can’t be worked up. It requires some sense of being there and some sense of engagement.”