I found the inclusion of a sense of awe to be worth noting. It’s easy to understand why he might have had a sense of awe while floating in space looking down on the earth from a couple of hundred miles away. What an awesome experience. But the comment about awe being a key factor is important.
To sum up, awe causes us to be more relaxed, less focused on self, more willing and able to help others, better at solving problems, healthier and more creative. Unfortunately awe is often in short supply these days. In an article in Psychology Today Dr. Gwen DeWar wrote, “Is it possible modern humans are suffering from a profound deficit of awe?” Her contention is that we don’t just have a lack of awe today, but a profound lack of it. It’s not hard to understand why that might be so. We live at a hectic pace, often driven by unmanageable demands and an impossible schedule. Who has time for awe? We spend much of our time indoors cut off from nature, we are glued to computer, smart phone and television screens, and we have removed God from the realm of reality. What is there to be in awe of?
When I first started to serve as a pastor I identified two goals that I had for my church. One of them was that the people in it would have an awe of God. He is the “something” that is vastly greater than us. It is awe of him that frees us from ourselves, enables us to serve others and gives us healthy souls. In Jeremiah 2:19 God says when Israel had forsaken him it was because they “had no awe of me.” The problem started with a lack of awe of God. Hebrews 12:28 calls on us to “worship God with reverence and awe.”
How can we have an ever greater and a real awe of God? It will help us to get out and appreciate the awesomeness of his work in creation. How can you not be in awe when you witness a spectacular sunset over the ocean? Having recently enjoyed the arrival of our first granddaughter I can tell you I am in awe of what God has done. Seeing that little baby, and now watching her already grow and develop creates a profound sense of awe. But beyond that making praise of God a constant habit will foster the growth of awe of him. For me there is nothing better than gathering with brothers and sisters to worship him to create a sense of awe. Our God truly is awesome. The more of him we see through his works and his revelation of himself, the better we know him as we walk with him, the more in awe of him we will be. And the more we are in awe the better off we’ll be.