In Awe! – pt 3

Through Coloured Glasses

One dark, rainy night a salesman had a flat tire on a lonely road.  To his dismay he found he had no lug wrench to remove his tire.  In the distance he saw a farmhouse and he set out on foot thinking “Surely the farmer will have a lug wrench.”  But would he come to the door?  And if he did he will probably be furious at being woken up.  He’ll probably say “What is the big idea getting me out of bed in the middle of the night?”

The salesman began to get upset and thought “That farmer is a selfish clod for refusing to help me.”  Finally reaching the house and feeling frustrated and drenched the salesman reached out and banged on the door.  “Whose there?” came the gruff response from an upstairs window.  “You know good and well who it is” yelled the salesman, his face red with anger.  “And you can keep your old lug wrench, I wouldn’t borrow it if it was the last one in the country.”

It is an old parable but how much of our lives is governed by our perception of things.  The views we have, the beliefs we have formed, and the expectations we have which govern our view of the world, and life, and even the people around us.  Our families, culture, friends, and circumstances all work on us to form a view of just about everything around us, including ourselves.  No matter who we are, all of us have a set of glasses, or way of seeing things, that tint life just a little.  The unconscious beliefs we have cause us to see things a certain way, often without us realizing we are filtering life.  Our views  don’t have to be correct for them to feel deeply valid.  Even the things we get offended over are a result of our view of things.  Someone once said “Once you hate someone, everything they do is offensive.”

As we look at awe it is important to look at the way we see life and the filters we have in place.  Our sense of awe is able to be redirected any where we choose it to be as we looked at in my last post.  We choose not whether we have awe, as we are all created with a capacity for awe, we simply get to choose what that awe is directed at.  And that decision will direct our lives in dramatic ways because awe has a current.

The problem with our coloured glasses is we have learned to see God through them as well.  So instead of seeing the true reality of God as He is and for who He is we tend to filter Him through our culture and through our circumstances.  We look at what is happening in our lives, or in our world, and come up with an image of God that we can then choose to push away as unwanted, or try to follow what we think is God.  We have all seen and heard many news reports of the things people have done saying God told them to.  And we probably all know people who want nothing to do with God because of what they see around them.  This is interpreting God through our coloured glasses and we always get an incorrect image when we do.

There is a lot of things that contribute to this.  Maybe it was the prayers for a family member you felt went unanswered.  Maybe it is the circumstances in your life that leaves you feeling like God is punishing you for something, or as some Christians say, God is teaching me something.  All of these things start with a slanted view of God that allow our coloured view to remain, and what is currently happening proves and justifies our beliefs.  But just like the wise person who said earlier “Once you hate someone, everything they do is offensive.”

I experienced this in my own life.  I grew up in church and hated the rules and regulations.  I had an image of God that was angry, vengeful and uninterested in my life.  His only involvement was to quickly judge me for anything I did wrong and that didn’t measure up.  And as I grew up I began to hate God.  He didn’t respond when I prayed.  He didn’t answer me when I talked to Him.  And when I messed up I was sure to feel less than human.  And as I grew older I chose to have nothing to do with God at all.  For many, many years I walked my own path.  But that didn’t alter who God was.  Just because I believed something about Him didn’t make it true.

And many of the things you may be feeling about Him may be based in your interperpetation of God through your circumstance.  It is something we all do.  Who is God and are you willing to have your understanding change?  For us to truly have an awe for God requires us to see Him as He is, and not for who we have decided He is.  After many years of being angry with God I encountered Him for who He really is.  And came to know deeply and personally how much I am loved and how precious I am to Him.  But this can only happen when we are willing to let go of our perception and have our glasses removed to see things as they are, not for what we belief them to be.

Does awe of God’s goodness interpret life for you? Or do the hardships of life cause you to question His goodness?

In Awe! – pt 2

Directing The Current

Awe.  It is an incredible feeling that seems to take your breath away.  And there are a lot of things in ourawe world today, from the simplest of things, like taking that first bite of an amazing new flavour of ice cream, to some incredibly complex and beautiful sights that people from around the world flock to go see.

Awe, as we looked at in my last post, is something that is within all of us.  We were created with the capacity and the need to express awe.

Where we choose to express that awe is something that creates a current for the rest of our lives to follow.  It will direct our lives even if it is unseen and unnoticed.  You don’t have to see a current for there to be a powerful one just below the surface.  But it definitely has an immediate effect if you step into the current.  strong current sign.jpg

Awe is a directing and motivating force in our lives.  It can move us to excellence and greatness or as we have seen all to often it can move us to horrible acts of violence and everything in between.

“Where you look for awe will shape the direction of your life. It just makes sense that your source of awe will control you, your decisions, and the course your story takes.” David Tripp

Whatever has captured the awe of my heart will also set the agenda for the things that we desire, think, choose, say, and do. The moral life of every human being is driven and shaped by awe, either awe of God or awe of something in God’s creation.  What you choose to be in awe of is very important and only we can only decide for ourselves where that awe will be placed.  Wherever we choose to place in will affect every other aspect of our lives


In Awe!

moher cliffs irelandAwe.  It is a powerful emotion that is within all of us.   What inspires the feelings within us is as diverse and the people on the earth today.  For some it is standing on a cliff staring at the beauty of a sunset on the ocean.  For others it is sitting in a temperature controlled gallery viewing a masterpiece painted my one of the many great artists of our time.  Or maybe it is standing in the Sistine Chapel and viewing the masterpiece which took Michelangelo many years to finish and still people flock to see.

For others it is a moving piece of music which captures their heart and soul.  And still others are inspired and awe-struck by the stars which thehubble stars Hubble telescope has been capturing amazing shots of for many years.  There is a lot in our world that grips our hearts and leaves us standing breathless.  Some people have that same awe when it comes to God.  The belief that someone spoke all of this wonder into being with a word and sustains it all with the word of His power is an awesome thought.   A God who knows the stars by name, which scientists estimate there being 10,000 million million million stars in the known universe, and calls them out each night.  And add to that the belief that the God who spoke all this into being is deeply acquainted with you personally.  He even knows how many hairs you have on your head, and He desires to know you personally and intimately and loves with a love that exceeds the expanse of the universe.   Awe is within all of us.

Taj MahalWe seek after places to put that awe on.  It is hard-wired within all of us.  And we will use it somewhere, because like breathing it needs to happen.  Where we choose to put that awe actually defines our lives.  We can choose to be in awe of material things and our lives will be consumed with having the latest, greatest and grandest things, usually before anyone else so we can have bragging rights.  If you are in awe of a particular person everything in your life will revolve around that person and what they are doing.  If you are in awe of experience you will pattern your life around the experience you are seeking, often to the detriment of other things.

Awe is something we all  get up every morning, and without ever being aware of it, search constantly for.  We are attracted to awesome things because it is a physical need within all of us to experience.  Awe is defined as “A feeling of reverential sistine chapelrespect mixed with fear or wonder.”  That feeling we get when we cannot explain what we are seeing and simply stand in wonder and amazement.  We all need to experience awe.  The question is what creates that feeling within you and what will you be in awe of?