When was the last time you said that something was “awesome?”
And by awesome, I really mean how good old Webster defines the first part of the word:
Awe: An emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime <stood in awe of the king> <regard nature’s wonders with awe>
Was the thing or person or situation that you described as “awesome” really like that? Did it inspire admiration? Wonder? Amazement? Fear? Did you feel reverential?
I’m guessing that if you’re like me, those “awe”-some moments aren’t really how Webster describes. Those moments or things are simply exciting in the here and now, but they aren’t sacred or inspiring.
If I’m forced to really think about it, the last time I probably truly felt in awe of something was when our family spent a week near Rocky Mountain National Park. I felt a pull and draw that I can only describe as sacred as I gazed at the wonder I knew God had created. I wanted to simply sit and soak in the beauty around me, feeling like I was in the presence of our Creator.
The sad thing is that it’s been two years since that trip. That’s a long time to not be in awe of anything. I was reminded of that during a good discussion with my Life group almost two weeks ago. The statement was that we were in a crisis of awe – we are rarely coming to our God and savior with true feelings of amazement, wonder and holy fear.
How often have I gone into a worship service and just gone through the motions instead of being in awe of my heavenly Father – a God who wants to be in relationship with me?
How often have I allowed the pressures of life to keep me from seeing the sacred and truly awe-inspiring around me?
The wonder of a baby’s first cry.
The precious hugs of a child that I have been gifted with caring for by my Lord.
The sheer fact that this body of mine works together to take breaths without even a thought from me.
The amazement of a spouse who loves me despite all of my faults and failings?
The amazing act of creation in nature, from the smallest bug to the most majestic of animals?
The hug and prayer of a friend at just the moment I truly needed it?
The holy fear from hearing God’s Word deep in my soul to convict me and turn me on the right path?
I think the most awe-inspiring for me is the fact we can have a close relationship with our God while still knowing he is Creator, Redeemer, just and righteous.
I was reminded several times in Scripture about standing in awe of God (Isaiah 29:23, Psalm 119:120, Job 25:2 are just a few). God may be my “friend”, but he is God – and that I cannot comprehend and must be in awe of.
As I write this, I am preparing to go on a mission trip to Costa Rica this week. I pray that God opens my eyes to help me see the awe around me in the people I am allowed to serve; may it remind me to be more in awe of God every single day.
Just saying awe,