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Are we closing our minds to the wonder?

Posted on 03 October 2013 by admin

By Laura Seymour

seymourforweb2We are now beyond the High Holidays and the school year is in full swing for students of all ages. At the J, I spend hours teaching children and adults. The subject is Jewish education of all sorts.

A lot of people are interested in the “how” and many others are interested in the “why,” but the hardest topic is the “who.” Talking about God is difficult for most of us, except for children: The wonder of God’s world and the magical aspects are so easy for them.

Rabbi David Aaron, author of “Endless Light” and many other books, says, “I say that I do not believe in God; but what I believe in, I call God.” We get caught up trying to intellectualize something that isn’t in that part of the brain. Discovering the world with all of our senses brings us closer to a relationship to God, as we explore the wonders around us.

How can we be open to experiencing wonder? Many years ago, a parent told me that she was at the park with her 4-year-old and a friend who also had a 4-year-old. A rainbow appeared in the sky, and the parent began explaining the science of rainbows to her child as his brow furrowed and he tried to understand the complexities.

Nearby the other parent talked with her child about the miracle and beauty of God’s rainbow, and her child was wide-eyed with wonder and excitement.
The scientific parent sadly told me, “I missed an incredible moment to experience God with my child. How can each of us be open to the wonder of God’s gifts and be thankful every day?”

We whispered, “God, speak to us.”
And a meadowlark sang.
But, we did not hear.
 
So we yelled “God, speak to us!”
And, the thunder rolled across the sky.
But, we did not listen.
 
We looked around and said,
“God, let us see you.”
And a star shined brightly.
But, we did not notice.
 
And we shouted,
“God show us a miracle.”
And a life was born.
But, we did not know.
 
So, we cried out in despair,
“Touch us God, and let us know you are here.”
Whereupon, God reached down and touched us.
But, we brushed the butterfly away and walked on. …

— Unknown

Laura Seymour is director of Camping Services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas.

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