Ninety-eight percent of our bodies’ atoms are replaced every year. When we think deeply about this, can we accept that each year we are a new person, physically, but are we a new person spiritually, emotionally, culturally? In a word, can we accept that over our lifetime, we evolve?
We begin as babies and grow into childhood. Take a look at a baby, or a child; they look at everything with unbelievable awe and wonder. Unbelievable to us, not to them. Everything is new! As a child, their spirit is changing as fast as their bodies are changing . . . ninety-eight percent each year; maybe even each day. The wonder of childhood need not be lost on us as we age, mature.
Try as I may, I walk through nature, seeing the plants, listening to the rustling of leaves as invisible animals make their way behind me, seeing the birds playfully, to us, searching for their next bit of life-sustaining food; I accept this from my aged point of view; it is no longer a wonder to me. I enjoy the feelings of seeing and hearing these wonders of nature, but I am no longer in awe of their beauty, no matter how much I pretend.
As I write this today, I feel that if I only had retained the wonder and awe of a young child, I would appreciate it more than I do. But this is not nature’s way; I aged and matured, becoming what I pray was and is a necessary cog in the ever-turning wheel of life. I taught the wisdom of the ages to adolescents and young adults. This is the necessary cycle of progress; the old helping the young mature.
I think of how different this could have been, if I were only more in touch with my long-lost childhood. I ask if I could have presented my experience and knowledge in a more childlike, more wonder-filled way, could I have helped my students retain some of the aw and wonder lost after childhood.
I cannot answer this self-imposed question; what I do know is that I was performing on God’s path, laid out especially for me. Yes, I am special; just as you are special. As I child, I thought the world revolved around me; as an adult, I know differently, but I know that my journey was that of God.
As I take another look at the nature around me, I can sit back and smile, knowing that my journey was just God planned. Looking at the birds in my yard sharing the feeders my wife so faithfully fills, I can see them with a muted, but resurgent awe. The wonder that God gives me each day I rise.
Let’s share the rebirth of God’s beauty.