Child-like? Curiosity and Wonder of Children

Photo: Unsplash

Text: Matt 18:1-5

By Greg Town, Churches Learning Change

I’m hoping you’ve had the joy of sitting with an inquisitive 3 or 4 year old, being peppered with all sorts of questions, some with simple answers and some that would leave even an astrophysicist scratching their head.  Or perhaps you’ve been able to visit a museum, a zoo, or a festival or fair with a child, and experienced the wide-eyed wonder that occurs when one must take in the biggest and smallest of details. 

Somewhere in our youth, most individuals lose that innate sense of wonder and curiosity.  We stop asking questions. We stop seeing all the parts of our world and ourselves with wide-eyed wonder. We begin to think we know enough to get through life. When we’re anxious, curiosity is often the first thing to be silenced within us, as we jump to defensiveness, easy answers, and quick-fixes.

I’ve visited the same museums and zoos multiple times with my own children.  Very little has changed in these places over the years, yet my children are always excited to go again, because they know there’s something they missed before. I used to find myself reluctantly accompanying them on subsequent visits, wondering why on earth we’re going to the same place again; yet somewhere along the way, the Spirit challenged me to take on my children’s joy, to join in their curiosity, and to connect with the awe they have at all manner of things. This practice, as a parent, has overflowed into other areas of my life – my calling and career, my church and community, my inner self and my relationships. I’ve begun to allow wonder to have its way, to connect with and express awe, to remain curious and ask questions, and especially to do this when anxiety is high in myself and others.

How might your leadership and relationships change if you started asking more questions and sought a deeper and more genuine curiosity with those around you?
How have you seen curiosity influencing other leadership traits in yourself, like creativity, hopefulness, compassion, and empowerment?

The invitation of Christ, the work of the Spirit, and the call to leadership often means reconnecting with and rekindling the child-like curiosity and wonder within us. 

Help Me Unbury Wonder

O God of the miracles, 

of galaxies, 

and crocuses,

and children, 

I praise you now 

from the soul of the child within me, 

shy in my awe, 

delighted by my foolishness, 

stubborn in my wanting, 

persistent in my questioning, 

and bold in asking you 

to help me unbury my talents 

for wonder 

and humor 

and gratitude, 

so I may invest them eagerly 

in the recurring mysteries 

of spring and beginnings, 

of willows that weep 

and rivers that flow 

and people who grow 

in such endlessly amazing 

and often painful ways; 

and I will be forever linked and loyal 

to justice and joy, 

simplicity and humanity, 

Christ and his kingdom.

— by Ted Loder

from Guerillas of Grace