In the National Trust’s list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾, is the exciting invitation to ‘dam a stream’. I know it’s one of the activities that I most look forward to when we spend time near the beach in Swanage, Dorset. Seriously. It wins over more relaxing activities and even over fish and chips.
I’m not sure what is so compelling about it. There is this little freshwater stream that crosses the sand into the sea and it is so much fun to try to direct it into a channel you have dug yourself or to stop it going in the direction that it wants to go in. But of course, try as we might, the water always wins. All of our hard work eventually erodes away and if you come back in the morning, it will be almost exactly the way it was the day before.
I may be wrong, but I think it touches something deep inside about wonder, and paying attention. Our world is a mysterious place but we seldom stop to notice.
I was going to write more about this and about my belief that God is at work in our world, but maybe not in the ways that we expect or sometimes even want. But then yesterday our nearly-10 year old son produced as list of 21 questions he’d written and that we wants us to talk about. I have to confess that I don’t even understand all of the questions, let alone know all of the answers, but I love that he’s asking them.
Like dam-making and cloud-watching, these questions are another way into wonder. What would you say?
- What is life?
- What are we doing on this earth?
- What would God like us to do on this earth?
- If God never existed what would we like to do?
- What is our final destination?
- What is in our soul?
- What helps us live?
- What does the Pope mean by ‘Wake up’?
- Are we asleep? Unaware of the greatness around us?
- What would help us see the greatness around us?
- What does ‘slain’ truly mean?
- Do we praise God properly? VGA (various great ascensions)
- Where do we walk?
- What do we have to do to become angels?
- Do we have any answers?
- Why would Christ come again?
- What does Jesus mean by saying ‘all you that are carrying heavy bones come, and you will receive rest?
- Is Jesus’ blood everlasting?
- What evil comes our way?
- Why do people say ‘nothing bad can happen to me because I’m united with Christ’? That’s not true.
- Where is home?