American culture is much better at cultivating dissatisfaction than it is at creating a sense of wonder, the Rev. Sara Hayden told PC(USA) Disciple-Making Conference participants at their opening worship service here tonight (Jan. 21).

Dissatisfaction ― what Presbyterian writer Anne Lamott calls “bad mind” ― “waits for opportunities to say ‘I told you so’ and ‘You’re a loser,’” Hayden, a Columbia Theological Seminary graduate and Atlanta-based church planter.

“The antidote to ‘bad mind’ is wonder,” she said. “It witnesses to a gift way beyond ourselves, to joy at the undeserved. To see God’s grace and savor it,” Hayden said, “at that point life becomes worship.”

Life as worship is what we need in the time between the incarnation and passion of Christ, she continued. Recalling the words of the Hebrews in the desert ― “dianou” (“it would have been enough, God, to give us just what we need”) ― Christian life becomes faithful when we recognize the gifts of God’s provision and perspective.

These signs of God’s wonders, of God never giving up on God’s people “are freedom-filled, they liberate,” Hayden said.

“Miracles abound,” she said, “for those who notice … when we lose the wonder, we lose the message.”