The Problem with "I Wonder..."
We’ve explored the theme of wonder this quarter at She Leads Daily. Wonder is a great thing! It’s a feeling, it’s an emotion, a thought, and perhaps a sensation that captivates us.
Usually, it’s for the better and we become curious about something or we notice the beauty around us. Sometimes it’s noticing other details, such as asking ‘I wonder why someone decided to wear shorts when it is below freezing outside?’
Wonder keeps our eyes and minds open as we become curious and it is the basis for New Year’s resolutions that are so popular. When the New Year rolls around, many people think about ways they can change or do things differently this year than the previous year. Each New Year’s resolution ultimately comes from, ‘I wonder if I can do __________ this year,’ or ‘I wonder what I’ll do or how I’ll do it.’
If we aren’t careful, wonder can become a distraction. It can trap us in an endless cycle of ‘what ifs’ and perhaps impossible scenarios that can hurt us. The playful curiosity of ‘I wonder what could happen’ or ‘I wonder what could have happened in the past’ can lead to doubt or questioning. It can make us look at events or people in our lives in a different light.
When we think “I wonder” too much, it can negatively affect our experience in the moment. For me, I enjoy daydreaming and wondering what my future will look like. I’ve thought about my past experiences and wonder who I would be today without those. Reflection is healthy, but a preoccupation with 'what ifs’ can be hurtful.
Allow me to speak from example. As I write this, I am in the midst of several job applications. If I’m not careful, my thoughts and wonderings can quickly spiral from thinking “I wonder if I'll get this job,” to thinking “what if I had gone with a different job offer? What if I studied something else or went to a different school?”
Those are the moments I get so distracted by what’s possibly ahead that I forget what’s actually happening now. We must be mindful that whenever we focus on ‘what ifs’ and 'I wonders,’ we are no longer putting our energy into what God has set before us.
So let's put our minds and hearts on the things that matter. Imagine how much greater the world could be if our thoughts were more oriented on things such as, “I wonder... how will I best serve others today? I wonder... how I can support or go on missions this year? I wonder... who I could invite to church or to dinner?”
Let's let our wonder guide us closer to God and not distract us from Him. I encourage you to join me in reading and meditating upon Matthew 6:25-34 as it relates to our thoughts and our priorities. I pray that in this new year and in every year we will always “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33, English Standard Version)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.