We Need More Awe

Why would people drive that far just to look at mountains and trees? They aren’t that special.

Hearing people check into the motel that I worked at during college talk about driving from Kansas or Indiana or Alabama to go to the Great Smoky Mountains with such excitement puzzled me. Sure, the leaves were changing colors and were pretty, but to drive all that way to view the scenery just seemed like such a waste.

Many of the visitors weren’t even going to do anything while they were in the area. They were just going to drive around and look.

Look at what? I’ve lived around here all of my life. What’s the big deal?

They asked me about Cades Cove and how often I had been there. WOW! was the response when I told them I went there a couple of times a year. “Do you know how blessed you are to live in and near such beauty?” I didn’t.

Aren’t there colors where these people live? Do they live in dungeons?

After hearing person after person say the same sorts of things, I began to ponder a little. They were excited about seeing sights that I saw on a daily basis, yet had no excitement for.

Was there something wrong with them? Or was there something wrong with me?

I walked outside the next evening at sunset and looked toward the mountains. They rose into the sky behind the many hills that somewhat obscured the view. The trees near me were filled with leaves vibrant with color and the trees in the distance were just as beautiful.

Maybe I’ve taken the beauty that surrounds me for granted. Somewhere along the way maybe I had lost my perspective about it due to it becoming mundane.

I expressed gratitude to God for His creation and regret for not praising Him more often for it. And then another question entered my mind.

Are the feelings I have had about creation similar to how I have often felt about the Creator? Am I so familiar with God that I am in danger of losing my awe of Him?

The answer was yes.

I asked God to forgive me.

I also asked Him to fill me with awe  for Him and His grandeur.

I need to keep asking Him for this.

We need to keep asking Him for this.

Day after day.

What is one of the most beautiful sights you have ever seen?
What do you do to increase you awe of God?


18 thoughts on “We Need More Awe

  1. Have you ever been to Kansas-the land of flat and corn and…? Parts of Indiana are flat and corn and beans. I live in the hilly area. Absolutely beautiful. I can’t really give an answer to your question although Snoqualmie Falls in Washington is an absolutely stunning place. I have relished coming to the office early and staring into the sky. WOW the star display has been phenomenal.

  2. I went to Niagara falls and to see those majestic and intimidating falls up close remind me of that Psalm that says “And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder” – Rev. 14:2.

    My jaw dropped at the loud and greatness of those falls.

  3. One of my goals this year (or rather, school year) is to do something or see something new each month. I have discovered parts of this area I have never seen before in my 13+ years of being here. There definitely is beauty around me that I tend to ignore.

  4. One of the most beautiful sites I have seen is this look out point over the Pacific Ocean by Southern California. I have been to that area several times and I am just in awe of the surroundings and the awesome temperatures. People that live there have said that after you live there for awhile you take it for granted as well. I don’t know if people have marveled at the beauty of my city Toledo 🙂

  5. Living in the Pacific Northwest – we have INCREDIBLE sights here – however, like you I have found myself taking it somewhat for granted. When I say somewhat, I’m not behaving like a tourist would that comes to Seattle for the first time – but I am IN LOVE with Mt. Rainier and every time it comes out – I can only just STARE in wonder at it. My favorite sight in the world.

  6. I remember standing by a river.

    I think it was near colorado…

    The water was roaring and rushing soooo loud, I couldn’t hear myself…

    Infact – my dad was behind me and I could hear what he was saying….we had to move away from the river…

    I remember thinking Wow…this is soooo awesome…

    Now…I think back…and know Christ and his goodness…can rush and roar in me to wash my sins away…

  7. One of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen was in the Swiss Alps. Spent a day driving through the mountains, and took a panaramic pic of it actually…my parents probably have it somewhere. It was amazing, because all I saw around me were snow topped mountains…. amazing.

  8. Wonderful post! I’ve been a Christian for most of my life, so I definitely fall into the rut of becoming too familiar with God and not appreciating His beauty and magnificence as I should. I get myself out of the rut first by realizing that I’m doing it, and then just remembering what He’s done for me and who He is. By being still, and realizing that He is God. By coming into contact with His presence again. I guess in that way it’s kind of like nature-if you’re too busy, you can’t appreciate it. But if you’re still and take the time to contemplate it, you can’t help but be awed. It’s usually the same in my relationship with God.

    As for the most beautiful sights I’ve seen, the night sky always wins a point… I love waterfalls… and one winter there was a fox in my front yard. His bright red coat against the glistening white snow was so striking, and it’s something I’ll never forget.

    Thanks for getting me still and thinking about these things! 🙂

    • I love waterfalls. Haven’t seen one in a while. Probably because I took TLC’s advice and stopped chasing them 🙂 As for realizing God’s magnificence–I think what helps me is when I spend more time in prayer. More time = greater understanding. I think 🙂

  9. I live in a valley. I have remind myself of the somber splendor of the parched brown hills that ring this town.

    There are things that floor us, that blow us away.

    Other times, awe is a choice I make. I tell myself “Those hills look as if God Himself pinched them into that shape.”

    Great post, Matt!

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