Dear Life,

I have not written to you in quite some time. In fact, I do not remember the last time I actually made a request to you in writing. I know I have talked to you plenty, both in my head and even out loud. Consider this a more official form of communication, a sign I am serious about what I am about to ask of you.

Here is my request: I would like for you to return my sense of wonder.

I am asking you to do this because of something I noticed last night, as my two oldest boys and I watched the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team dispatch the World All-Stars at the local college arena. I knew something was amiss even before going to the game. I grew up loving the Globetrotters. Even though I knew exactly what was coming, their act never grew old. Yet I found myself last night going into the event with a sense of boredom, as if I had seen everything before and was incapable of being entertained by the antics I had grown up adoring.

It was something which occurred during the game itself, though, that made me realize I had fallen out of touch with the sense or wonderment that is so important in life. As part of the act, the World All-Stars introduced a player named “Cager,” a massive skyscraper of a man who was easily seven feet tall. Cager was an unstoppable force, scoring at will on the Globetrotters, and he was a blatant heel, openly provoking the crowd to boo his boorish behavior. His presence was supposed to signal that the Globetrotters could be in peril of losing this game, even though everyone in attendance knew they wouldn’t.

Or did we?

Cager, as a player, was not particularly impressive to me. The Globetrotters defenders really weren’t playing any kind of meaningful defense on him, allowing him to dunk pretty much anytime he touched the ball. He reminded me physically of former NBA center Shawn Bradley, who was not exactly the most impressive talent to ever grace the hardwood. I wanted him to be as dominant as he was being made out to be, but he really wasn’t. He was just big and wore a weird-looking face mask for some unexplained reason.

As I quickly lost interest in Cager, however, I began to listen to the voices around me in the arena, most of which were children. They were totally in awe of this man. “Look, he doesn’t even have to jump to dunk the ball!” They booed the villain with vigor. They wanted the Globetrotters to put the bad guy in his place, and they weren’t entirely convinced our heroes were going to come out on top. At the same time, though, they still laughed at every joke and cheered every exploit. Not even Cager could spoil their fun.

And that’s when I realized how crusty I had become. When did I lose my sense of wonder? When did I stop being impressed by displays of talent and humor? When did I stop being part of the fun and start being part of the problem? I used to feel genuine awe about things. I used to laugh until my sides hurt. What happened to that guy?

So, Life, I am coming to you today to ask that you return that lost wonderment to me. I’m not sure what you did with it, but I think it’s about time you brought it back. I want to smile with the good guys and boo the bad guys with just as much vigor as everyone else. And just in case you think I’ve outgrown it, Life, I would remind you I’m only 42. I still have plenty of years left to be impressed by things.

Thanks, Life. Good talking to you again. I’ll be anxiously awaiting your reply.

Sincerely,

Me

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