Awe and Wonderment: A path to Emunah

Emunah means “trust,” in Hebrew, but is often used to mean “faith,” in a religious context. Most people hate the term faith, but when one understands it and how one can develop it, it becomes something truly powerful and empowering. What would you think if I said that “I woke up and saw a miracle today, the brightest blue sky amidst a bright yellow sunrise?” If you’re the purely logical type, you’d probably think that silly, but to someone who sees things through the scope of awe and wonder, it was something truly moving and impassioned. Every morning I wake up is a gift to me, something that many do not have the luxury of doing and I thank Hashem for keeping my spirit safe from harm and giving me another day of life. 

I am sure someone reading this is laughing, however, every single day I am filled with happiness, gratitude, and pure wonderment at what the world has. I see flowers of every color, meadows of bright green grass, the sun warming and nurturing everything, emblazoned in the sky. I see hills, cliffs, mountains, I see wildlife and trees taller than many buildings and in all that I see, I see with childlike wonder and awe. I appreciate the beauty all around us, the beauty of human kindness and empathy, I see it all and can barely hold in a gasp of amazement. 

I see birth and death, the cyclonic nature of life, I see the planet feed the animals including us, the animals feed each other and us. Even modern medicine is more often derivatives of natural plant and animal compounds… the earth is perfect at taking care of us all, a true miracle. The earth is in perfect balance, in orbit around the sun, with a beautiful moon and fellow planets, and millions of sparkling stars to decorate the night sky. Most people take these things for granted, they see them daily and think nothing of them until the mid-day sun is in their eyes while in traffic. To me, I see Hashem in all of these things and look out in awe and wonderment!

I thank G-D for the birds in the skies, the fish in the seas, all of the creatures of the lands down to the smallest insect, because they are a work of wonder to me. These things are art turned life and even the smile of a stranger or voice of a child I see and hear Hashem in them. G-D is not some invisible bearded man sitting on a throne in the sky, he is within everything, and everyone, if only you let your eyes see it. Even if you’re one of those uber logic types, G-D can be seen as the very laws of nature or nature itself, and you’d begin to develop Emunah!

A great way to develop Emunah is to go camping, go for a hike, go fishing, just spend time out in nature and appreciate the wonders presented outdoors. Even if you live in the city, a simple walk outside, through a park, feeding pigeons, can bring about many positive feelings of wonder and develop into Emunah. Some people garner Emunah in the most unlikely of places and times… while driving somewhere, in an art museum, visiting relatives, getting sick, or facing something traumatic, these are just a few ways Emunah can come about. 

Seeing the world for the awe-inspiring and wonderment bringing perfection that it is, seeing the kindness of people and recognizing how special all human beings are, and experiencing something utterly miraculous is the cornerstone of Emunah. Miracles are not something merely left in the past, miracles happen every day if you open your eyes and see the wonders which surround you, this is the power of Emunah!