Ravi Zacharias

Integrity Publishers, 2003, 170 pp.  ISBN 1-59145-018-7


“Deep within all of us is a longing to recapture a sense of wonder, to marvel at the mystery of God and His creation like we did as children.”  Zacharias, globally recognized speaker, author, and apologist, searches for life as it “is intended to be—the thrill of wonder and the irresistible urge to share it.”   He finds the heart’s ultimate fulfillment in worship.


“How does one live in such a way that the mundane blends with the dramatic so that the whole story remains sensational?”  “How do we live so that we avoid becoming, at the end of life, the proverbial cynic or the ‘grumpy old person’?”  (xiii)


Perhaps it is the grand potential for dreaming and pursuing dreams that sets us apart from all other entities. (2)


The dream of ultimate fulfillment is “intangible but recognizable, recognizable, indefinable but felt, visualized but blurred.”  That pursuit is the grand theme of this book. (4-5)


“Can life be in tune with reality and also be enchanting without being escapist?” (5)


Philosophy begins with wonder but wonder dies with knowledge.  “Explanation is the termination point of mystery, analysis the death knell of curiosity.”  “Reality undercuts fantasy.” (7)


“No matter what we have achieved or attained in our life, we still find ourselves burrowing deep within, trying to assuage the hungers of our soul.” (8)


“Deep within every human heart throbs the undying hope that somebody or something will bring both an explanation of what life is all about and a way to retain the wonder.” (13)


“There is nothing that God hath established in the constant course of Nature, and which therefore is done everyday, but would seem a miracle, and exercise our admiration, if it were done but once.” (John Donne, 17)


“Wonder is that possession of the mind that enchants the emotions while never surrendering reason.” (20)  “It sees in the ordinary the extraordinary.  Wonder interprets life through the eyes of eternity while enjoying the moment.” (20)


“There is wonder all around us, and it is God’s will to fill us with that wonder that makes life enchanting and sacred.” (25)


“Our society is walking through a maze of cultural land mines and the heaviest price is exacted as we send our children on ahead.” (27)


“The imagination has been abused with the children of our time.  Rather than wait until the imagination is mature and trained, the fragile capacity to dream and think is shattered by an array of ‘toys’ so early that boredom is guaranteed.” (41)


“As childhood has been shortened and given so much, adolescence is now protracted and adulthood significantly delayed.” (41)  “We dream less, we think less, we hope less, and we reason less, with more in our hands and before our eyes.” (42)


“In the 1950s kids lost their innocence.” 

“In the 1960s, kids lost their authority.”

“In the 1970s, kids lost their love.

“In the 1980s, kids lost their hope.

“In the 1990s kids lost their power to reason.

“In the new millennium, kids woke up and found out that somewhere in the midst of all this change, they had lost their imagination.”  (42-3)


“Instead of a game or a play, we could see life as a story, a story with a purpose and with all the gripping reality of both tears and laughter, revealing the truth about life in particular and life as it was intended to be.” (44)


“The search for life’s wonder is filled with surprises, but it is also guided by conditions.  If we understand the script and stay with the road map we will reach our destination.” (52)


“Seeking new sensations while violating the sacred first desecrates the self and finally destroys the sensation.” (53)


“Our estrangement from wonder is because of our misdirected search.  God never placed it in some of the places or activities we love to haunt.” (57)  “There are some bitter long-term disappointments in short-term indulgence.” (58)


“In order to be successful, temptation and seduction always require a disposition, an inclination, an imagination, and someone ready to exploit someone else.  Vast numbers are deceived and duped.” (61)


“Whatever causes a civilization to blush defines that civilization’s values.”  “Shame is an indicator of a conscience that is alive.” (62)


“The reason riches become such a snare is because we end up evaluating life in mercenary terms and being seen by others in such terms, and life is just not so.” (67)  “Riches are a form of cosmetic.  They have the power to buy the trappings, but they do not have the power to enrich the soul.” (69)


“Enchantment in life can never be realized in some thing; it must ultimately culminate in a person.” (83)


“The Bible is a book of simple clarity but also of intentional myster; both are indispensable aspects of wonder.” (86)


“We have enjoyed so much of God’s blessing, yet people have forgotten God and gradually He ha been blotted out of our collective memory.”  “Even the one time of the year when the word ‘thanks’ comes into our vocabulary; Thanksgiving, we now hear referred to as ‘Turkey Day.’  What an incredible reduction, from a heartfelt state of gratitude to celebrating a plateful of food.  The heart has been displaced and the stomach is now the focus.” (92)


“At the cross Jesus gave the final and ultimate gift of unmerited favor.  The disfigured body or our Lord was a reminder that even though God had kept His part of the commitment in the face of such betrayal, He would sacrifice His own lamb—His Son—as one last demonstration of His love.  (93)


“The fundamental truth of our origin defines everything from there on.” (101)


 “Our society lives with the fallacy that truth is an illusion….”  But, “Ultimately, nothing can kill the truth.” (104)


“Part of wonder is to recognize that heaven has been crammed into every life by the marvelous hand of the Creator.” (127)


“When the middle years come, new experiences are not in gains and surprises but in the sudden realization of losses.” (140) “The older we get the more we need somebody bigger than we are to restore what we have lost.”  “God has promised that when we find Him, it is not that everything around us has changed but that we have become new.”  (142)


“I have some deep struggles in the Christian faith.  It is not with my faith, but with the way I see it abused and, if you will, treated as something trite and shallow by those who claim to be believers.”  “For the most part, judging by the titles and content [of books in Christian bookstores], one would think the Christian faith is all about me and how I feel and what I want.” (151)


“Thinking is a dying discipline in a society that throbs with activity.” (153)


“At the end of the day if you have spoken but not listened, you have spent without income and sooner or later an expenditure of words without an income of ideas will lead to conceptual bankruptcy.” (159)


“The components of gratitude and truth, love and hope bring the realization of wonder.  The disciplines of study, of reading and reflecting, of dialoguing in depth and praying with belief sustain the wonder.  In short, wonder is captured in one word—worship.”  When we have learned what worship is, we have experienced what wonder is.  Worship is a personal thing before it goes public.  It is an individual thing before it is part of a community.  It is a disciplined thing before it is natural.” (164)