Eugene Peterson, in his Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, pp. 119-129, sets out a second element of cultivating fear of the Lord in creation. The first was Sabbath, upon which I posted some time in December, and the second is wonder. Ever wonder about wonder?
Everyone was suprised, no one did anything to prepare for it, marginal people play a central role, it took place quietly, and it evoked fear. And it should. “Fear-of-the-Lord is fear with the scary element deleted” (121).
Here’s his thesis. What do you think? “Fear-of-the-Lord is the cultivated awareness of the ‘more and other’ that the presence or revelation of God introduces into our lives: I am not the center of my existence; I am not the sum-total of what matters; I don’t know what will happen next” (122). Then, “Without wonder we approach life as a self-help project. We employ techniques; we analyze gifts and potentialities; we set goals and assess progress. Spiritual formation is reduced to cosmetics” (123).
How can we recover wonder?
We have deconstructed it. In the workplace. “Along the way the primacy of God and his work in our lives gives way ever so slightly to the primary of our work in God’s kingdom, and we begin thinking of ways that we can use God in what we are doing” (124). This is idolatry, “germs” of idolatry that will corrupt the whole. So, we package solutions and before long it becomes one fix after another — as we become “consumers of packaged spirituality” (125).
Technology promotes idolatry; deconstructs wonder. Impersonal things. Peterson thinks the primary place for spiritual formation is the workplace.