Daily Riches: A Sense of the Mystery Beyond All Things (Einstein, Heschel, Maslow, Julian, Manley, Shakespeare)

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” Albert Einstein

“The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything.” Julian of Norwich

“The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” Gerard Manley

“If you could understand a single grain of wheat you would die of wonder.” Martin Luther

“The earth has music for those who listen.” William Shakespeare

“Awe is more than an emotion; it is a way of understanding, insight into a meaning greater than ourselves. The beginning of awe is wonder, and the beginning of wisdom is awe. Awe is an intuition for the dignity of all things, a realization that things not only are what they are but also stand, however remotely, for something supreme. Awe is a sense for transcendence, for the reference everywhere to mystery beyond all things. It enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the divine, to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple: to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal. What we cannot comprehend by analysis, we become aware of in awe. ” Abraham Heschel

“This is the gift–to have the wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy.” Abraham Maslow

“The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy.”
Psalm 65:8

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Does your pace or your focus tend to make you oblivious to “the grandeur of God” all around you?
  • Are you trying to develop a sense–an appreciation–for the transcendent in your world?
  • It’s by God’s grace that we have the “capacity to appreciate … the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy”–but it’s also a capacity we have to develop. What are you doing to learn to “behold” and to “listen” in new ways?

Abba, teach me to behold you in everything–and in everyone.

For More: Asked for Wonder by Abraham Heschel


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and God seeks you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to regularly share something of unique value with you in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! Please leave a comment or question. – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Transformation, Transcendence and Reading (E. B. White, C. S. Lewis, Rebecca Solnit and Franz Kafka)

“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.” Franz Kafka

“…doubt has been raised as to the future of reading – whether the printed word is on its last legs. One college president has remarked that in fifty years ‘only five percent of the people will be reading.’ For this, of course, one must be prepared. But how prepare? To us it would seem that even if only one person out of a hundred and fifty million should continue as a reader, he would be the one worth saving, the nucleus around which to found a university. We think this not impossible person, this Last Reader, might very well stand in the same relation to the community as the queen bee to the colony of bees, and that the others would quite properly dedicate themselves wholly to his welfare, serving special food and building special accommodations. From his nuptial, or intellectual, flight would come the new race of men, linked perfectly with the long past by the unbroken chain of the intellect, to carry on the community.” E. B. White

“Like many others who turned into writers, I disappeared into books when I was very young, disappeared into them like someone running into the woods. What surprised and still surprises me is that there was another side to the forest of stories and the solitude, that I came out that other side and met people there.” Rebecca Solnit

“…My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. …in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like a night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.” C. S. Lewis

“in reading this you will be able to understand my insight” Ephesians 3:4

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you read broadly enough to “transcend” yourself (your experience, perspective, biases, prejudices and assumptions)?
  • Have you run into the woods (like entering Narnia through the wardrobe), met unexpected people there, and been forever changed by that?
  • Do you position yourself for personal transformation by attempting to “understand the insight” of Others?

Abba, as I’m exposed to the voices of Others, may I transcend my tiny self.

For More: How to Read Slowly by James Sire


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)


Daily Riches: Responding to Transcendence with Silence and Stillness (Robert Frost) *

“Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
“My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
“He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.” –
 “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” –  Robert Frost
“Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest!
I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness.”  Psalm 55:6,7
Moving From the Heart to the Head
  • Have you ever experienced something this profound and beautiful in nature? Where? How long ago? Did you seek it out, or did it “just happen” like in this poem?
  • Is it the horse or the driver that “thinks it’s queer” to stop near these dark woods? Is there “some mistake?” How often do you find yourself unable to stop and really experience something special because you have “miles to go before [you] sleep?”
  • As the speaker hurries on to keep his promises, what are we to imagine he is feeling? What is the take-away message of the poem?
  • The horse “gives his harness bells a shake”, and the driver moves on. What does it take to convince you to move on and attend to business when you’re experiencing some kind of transcendence? What does your answer say about you?
“Lord, help me to do one thing at a time today, without rushing or hurrying. Help me to savor the sacred in all I do …empower me to pause today as I move from one activity to the next.” – Peter Scazzero


For More: Poetry: A Pocket Anthology by R. S. Gwynn


“Then suddenly it happened, I lost every dime, but I’m richer by far, with a satisfied mind.” (“Satisfied Mind”, lyrics by Red Hayes and Jack Rhodes) Often it’s in our most painful losses that we find what really matters, and the satisfaction found in God alone. I hope that Daily Riches will help you to be “richer by far” as you grow in such satisfaction. Thanks for reading and sharing Daily Riches!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)