End of Wonderment in the Information Age
by Dan Rupple
Growing up in the shadows of Disneyland, throughout my childhood I visited the Magic Kingdom two or three times every year. The absolute wonder engendered by my first visits filled my imagination for months afterwards. My amazement faded over time as the magic became familiar and predictable.
Twenty-some years later, I became a father. As I took my kids through those colorful gates and raced towards “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the excitement of my own childhood returned. Seeing Disneyland afresh through my kids’ eyes, I was reminded of the wonder that captivated me as a child.
I even welcomed with gladness that insidious repetitive song, “It’s a Small World After All!” As the boat turned the corner into each new land, the charm of the tune crept back into my head, resulting in my unbridled, at-the-top-of-my-lungs vocal stylings.
Another twenty-some years later, I returned once again with my grandkids. A whole new generation of wonder was launched. Wonder is a precious gift from the God of all creativity.
But in this age of information, where the answer to every question we ponder is just a click away, is wonder doomed to extinction? After all, if I wonder when—in his head-first flight towards his feast—does a mosquito turn his body to land his rear-end stinger deep into my arm, Google’s answer is immediately displayed on my omnipresent smart phone.
What if I wonder who was the first person to think it was a good idea to drink whatever came out of a cow’s udder?
Wikipedia doesn’t leave time for the milk to sour before I know it was the Central Europeans about 7,500 years ago (although I believe that the Bible would suggest that the “land of milk and honey” knew about milk much earlier).
The kick-off question that sparks the story of most writers is “What if . . . ?” That question is interchangeable with “I wonder what would happen if . . .”
Wonder ignites imagination, which finds its expression in creativity. We must pause every now and then to look to creation with wonder. Wonder about the answers to the big questions in life.
Let’s never lose the WONDERment of our childhood.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork (Psalm 19:1).