Win Today with Christopher Cook

Get Unstuck. Reclaim Your Purpose. Win Today.

Why You Need To Live Life in Wide-Eyed Wonder

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There’s something innocent yet incredibly powerful in observing children interact with the world around them. For starters, their small worldview shields their precious eyes from grown-up-sized pain, loss, poverty, and failure. At the same time, their unfiltered, young view of the world creates a steady stream of possibilities, unrealized potential, big dreams, and gigantic steps of heroism even in the face of those very same grown-up maladies.

I think it’s why every child wants to wear a cape.

Wide-Eyed Wonder

Children believe they can fly above a troubled world. Children believe they can save the day. And children abandon grown-up prejudices and circumstantial limitations in favor of living to solve impossibilities.

Just like Ewan.

Ewan Baker Drum, otherwise known as “Super Ewan,” is a 9-year-old hero who is making a significant dent in the lives of many people in the Metro Detroit (Michigan) area. Watch this:

Inspiring, isn’t he?

The Daily Grind

Undoubtedly, countless people spend their lives for the betterment of others. But as we age, many of us exchange that powerful innocence and hang-up our capes so-to-speak in favor of dealing with the daily grind of the “real world.” Who has time for the cape when many of us just need to get through Monday? You know the drill:

Bills need to be paid.
Relationships need to heal.
Arguments need to be settled.
Savings for retirement needs to ramp-up.
The boss needs to jump off a cliff.
This traffic ticket needs to be fought.
And the chicken needs to hurry-up and thaw so dinner can be made.

We’re big boys and big girls who left the cape in the closet 20 years ago. But that may be the problem.

When the Cape Comes Off

This proverbial cape isn’t a real cape—certainly not like that worn by Super Ewan. The cape is an internal drive to live a life of significance and possibility, fueled by hope, at every stage of life, even in the face of discouragement.

Could it be, though, that as we age, the cinched knot holding our cape in place gets loosened every time trouble and trial crosses our path? Could it be that instead of keeping our cape secure, we lose our sense of calling to do great things and instead shrug our shoulders in a state of apathy about the trajectory of not only our life, but about the human condition?

Could it be that the glistening wonder of greatness has been reduced to a flicker—all because of disappointment and heartache?

Could it be that we’ve lost the very thing we need in order to realize our God-given potential: childlike faith?

I know someone who had a few words on that very subject.

Faith Like a Child

Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 18:3 (AMP), said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you repent [that is, change your inner self—your old way of thinking, live changed lives] and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’”

Those are strong words. Above all, children are quick to trust. When their parents speak, they hang onto every word without filtering them through skepticism and cynicism. But when children become adults, life creates a lens (for good or bad) through which they often wager future possibilities against past experiences and trade-in the cape for the 9-5. Even worse, if the past was painful, what gives them any deep-seated sense of hope for what’s on the horizon?

Sort of like my life.

10-4, Dispatch

When I was young, I was a nerd. Really. If you were a cool kid, you’d have stolen my lunch. And my cousin, John, and I were nerds together. But we were heroic nerds. By the time I turned ten, I had I saved enough money to buy two things: a black, pleather (shut up, I couldn’t afford real leather) briefcase, and a police beacon…from Radio Shack.

We set up shop in my bedroom and went to work as fighters of crime and heroes of fainting damsels. We ran extension cords from the garage and taped our police beacons to the top of our parents’ cars. And we did it all to the beats of one M.C. Hammer.

You couldn’t touch us.

Within a few days on duty, we both had been promoted to captain of the department and were virtually an unstoppable force of crime fighting. We even arrested our younger sisters (finally, they had been stopped).

The Dust-Collecting Cape

But within a few years, our crime-fighting days were over. My parents got divorced. My mom was diagnosed with stage-four cancer. I was getting ready to start high school. And I was scared and disappointed. Certainly, life wasn’t supposed to be like this. My dreams of heroism had been displaced by harsh circumstances. The cape had effectively been hung-up.

It’s not that my innocence had been lost or my childhood had been stolen; I had a great childhood, even amidst a lot of trial. It’s just that disappointment deflated my belief that the carefree disposition of a child was even plausible because of the grown-up circumstances that knocked-down the door to my home.

Maybe you’re in a similar place right now. Perhaps unfavorable circumstances have hampered your childlike faith and belief that despite chaos and confusion, you have been created for greatness. But the truth is that you can trust again. You can heal. And you can wear your cape once again. Here are three keys to “putting your cape back on” by making peace with your past.

3 Keys to Living with Wide-Eyed Wonder Once Again

Returning to Jesus’ words, he identified three qualities of childlikeness that we must embody today:

  1. Children are trusting. As I stated earlier, little children are quick to believe their parents (and even quicker to remind them of promises). Engage your heart in trusting that the purpose for your life is sure despite the short-term view of difficulty that is in front of you today. Trust obliterates skepticism.
  2. Children are humble. It’s beautiful to watch children experience something new for the first time. Their glistening eyes explode with wonder. But as we age, it’s easy to replace our “wow” with a skeptical “how.” Another component of humility requires us to recognize that despite a painful past, we still aren’t smart enough to run our own lives in our own strength. As such, letting go of the reigns of control is a powerful act of faith in which humility clears the roadblocks of anxiety caused by cynicism.
  3. Children are forgiving. Have you ever noticed that even when a child is offended and upset, it doesn’t take him/her long to return to a state of joy? Choosing to remain in a state of unforgiveness and bitterness towards someone or even your past is a trap set for one person: you.

Be encouraged…

You’ve been created for greatness; to create something significant. In fact, you’re familiar with the inner voice that bellows deep within your spirit and soul, “You are more than what you have become.”

But there’s another voice and it clamors, “The passion is fading. Time is passing. You don’t have the talent or the resources. Someone else has probably already done the same thing. You’re not good enough. Just give up.”

But it’s time to find hope, clarity, and courage.

It’s time to overcome.

Remember Joseph in the Bible? His dream couldn’t be shaken. And though his was a journey, he went from the prison to the palace.

And as for you…
A blank page is before you.
Reclaim your purpose. 

Awaken the wide-eyed wonder of possibility in your life. You and God are a majority. There’s no telling what He will do through you.

I truly believe in you.