Awesome: Getting past hamburgers

I have been abusing a word. A word that deserves to be removed from the vocabulary of advertising media and casual speech. A word that best describes the transcendent Presence of The Holy. And yet I use it all the time to refer to things that are wonderful, or delicious, or surprising.

A W E S O M E

GOD is awesome. GOD.

Not pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, the Nats winning the pennant (hey! I can dream!) Not a bicycle ride, or a sexy new car, or a piece of clothing, or anything of a temporary nature. We delude ourselves and we downgrade the work of The Holy when we exchange the word “awesome” for anything but something that fills us with awe.

Hydrangeas :)

GOD’S CREATION is awesome. Creation reflects the power, the vastness, the limitless beauty of God’s work in the universe. The flutter of a hummingbird at the feeder. The pileated woodpecker and offspring on the oak tree. The young rabbits discovering clover blossoms in the yard. The wind ripping through tree branches during an afternoon storm. The latent power of rumbling thunder. Seeing the Milky Way or the Northern Lights. The kaleidoscope of blossoms in the yard.

The National Cathedral, Washington, DC

The National Cathedral, Washington, DC

Our creative acts (in the arts and sciences) only imitate what God, the Master Builder has already done. They can be awe-inspiring or beautiful or breath-taking. But I’m not sure they are on the same scale of “awesome” as God’s handiwork.

To inspire and move me towards seeing God as truly and only as “awesome” I enjoy watching these videos.  I think they help to more perfectly define the word “awesome” for me.

Thanks be to God.

First, Shawn Reeder’s time-lapse of Yosemite:

Brian Doerkson’s Creation Calls set to movie clips of nature:

And finally, because I love this piece, Haydn’s The Creation:

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