Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Awesome! Or is it?

A computer game that my husband and I enjoy has an irritating habit of describing our every success as “Awesome!”  This word seems to be the current version of what what used to be neat, cool, or groovy (hate that one!).  But wait a minute!  What is really awesome? 

Awe:  an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like.  (Dictionary definition)

From this word comes “awesome,” which should describe things that produce that feeling of awe.  Truly awesome things leave us speechless, weak-kneed, overwhelmed by a grandeur far beyond the ordinary, beyond human comprehension.  My husband uses “awe” to describe the feeling he had when he first saw the Grand Canyon.  It’s how I feel when viewing a particularly beautiful sunset.  When examining the intricate detail of a flower.  Or even when watching the miracle of a huge jetliner soaring gracefully through the sky. It’s other-worldly, evidence of Someone far wiser and more powerful than we are who is showing us a taste of super-human majesty.

If we dumb down the word “awesome” to a mere expression of approval (e.g. the taste of your sandwich), what other word is left to express the feeling inspired by God’s wonderful works that bedazzle our eyes, minds, and imagination?  Or do we have our eyes so glued to our mirrors, menus, and manmade gadgets that we no longer lift them up to see what is truly awesome? 

Click below to enjoy a stirring rendition of “Our God is an Awesome God”—with pictures of His breathtaking creation.  NOW, THIS IS REALLY AWESOME!

Comments on: "Awesome! Or is it?" (2)

  1. I had never heard M. W. Smith’s version of the song; it’s very beautiful. Rich Mullins also does a beautiful rendition of the song. If you’d like to listen to it, here’s the link.

    Anyhow, thanks for your thoughts. I completely agree with your definition of the idea of “awesome”. I think that one of the most truly awesome things I’ve seen in a long time was in California this past summer. When at our family cabin, my aunt took a friend of mine and I down to the beach alongside the river, and we just laid there and looked at the stars. Because it’s so far from the city, the sky was incredibly clear. There were multitudes of very bright stars– the same ones that can still be seen clearly in a polluted or clouded area, such as major constellations– but they themselves seemed much less mighty themselves when compared to the widespread masses of smaller stars, whose volume seemed to fill up every bit of the heavens with their little points of light. It was incredible. I think I would have been perfectly happy never leaving that spot on the beach.

    • Thanks for writing, Becca. I listened to your link and enjoyed it very much. And I loved your description of the starry night! We never get to see that…too many lights. We just returned from an overnight at a beach where we saw God’s fantastic light show at sunset :).

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