January 21, 2014

Magic is not Just for Children

Baby examining grass

Many think of magic as being a kid's thing. It's not. Kids don't need it. Adults do.

Don't get me wrong, kids enjoy magic programs. Magic can be a great tool for clearly presenting a memorable lesson. However, kids, especially younger ones, don't need it because they haven't lost their sense of wonder. They can still see the wonders, large and small, that surround us every day.

As we grow up, we tend to loose this sense of wonder. The wondrous is still there, certainly. We just seem to loose the ability to recognize it. We slowly turn into ordinary people doing ordinary things in an ordinary world.

You've probably seen a parent trying to show something to a small child, something the adult thinks is interesting or important. However, the child can't be bothered with this "important thing," because he's too engrossed in examining a blade of grass, a pebble, or a bug. The parent thinks the child is missing out on something, but I'm convinced that the parent is missing out on even more. The parent can no longer see that every blade of grass really is a thing of wonder!

In Terrible Trifles, G. K. Chesterton wrote, "I assure you. The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder." Adults need to rediscover what children already have, a sense of wonder.

That is what I love about magic: its ability to inspire wonder. It can, at least for an instant, pull back the curtain of ordinariness and remind people of wonder.

Christians especially should have a sense of wonder. If God lives in us, we are not ordinary, and have no business leading ordinary, passionless, joyless lives. If we recognize this world as God's handiwork, then, even in its current fallen state, we should be able to see the wonders of God all around us. Even in a simple blade of grass.

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