When Awe of the Extraordinary Fades to Common

Coming into our valley from the east, there are two places on the highway that give you incredible, awe-inspiring views.  The first shows off the tops of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The second gives a panorama of the entire mountain range with the valley in full view.  As one of my daughters would say: “Aaaawwwww!!!!!!”.

Over the past couple of months, we have had a number of people visit us in beautiful Westcliffe, CO.  We enjoy showing off the Lord’s creation from our front door and especially from Prayer Rock at Legacy Heights.  A few times we’ve felt like we needed to apologize that it wasn’t as pretty as normal because of the cloud covering or simply because the mountains weren’t shining as much that day.  Without exception, everyone has rejected our apology with unabashed awe of what they were seeing.  

As I was thinking about their reactions, I realized that I may have allowed my awe to fade.  When we first moved here, I would get up every morning and look out our front window in awe at the beauty of the mountains.  Now, I’m ashamed to say, I don’t do that every day. I still enjoy looking at them, but they don’t capture my attention like they used to.  

Creation

As I sat eating lunch beside a high mountain lake, the Lord showed me how purposeful and detailed He was when creating our world.  He made that lake high up in the mountains to collect the water from the winter snows and summer rains. The water is released down the creek to provide for all of the plants and animals that live along the mountain range.  That water then flows down to join other creeks and rivers providing water for irrigation and us to use.

Think about the diversity of the plants and animals that are found throughout the globe.  It’s mind-boggling to consider. Each plant and animal is uniquely designed to live where the Lord placed it.

Marmots live at around 12,000 feet able to thrive through the snow of winter and sun of summer. Penguins generally live by the sea near the South Pole, uniquely designed to thrive in that environment.  We don’t find pecan trees in the Colorado mountains nor aspens common in Texas. The animals, trees, bushes, and flowers are all designed for the conditions of their homes.  

Creator

As we view the world, whether from the mountains, a lake, or the beach, we should praise the Creator.  The creation is amazing. The Creator is even more incredible!

How do we describe God?  Some might describe HIm as a Good Father.  We can use some of His attributes such as being  Loving, Just, or Righteous. We can talk about the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Even more than His creation, it is impossible to adequately describe the vastness, diversity, and amazing beauty of God.

I find that when attempting to describe God, I am simply reduced to amazement and awe.  All I know to do then is to worship Him.  

Scripture says that all of creation will worship the Lord (Psalm 145:10-12, Isaiah 44:23).  Jesus was told by the Pharisees to tell the people to stop worshiping Him and his reply was that if they stopped the rocks themselves would cry out in worship (Luke 19:40).  

I think that this is a literal and figurative worship.  As we marvel at the beauty of God’s creation, we are inspired to give Him glory and praise.  If, instead of worshiping the Creator, we bow to the creation, we are guilty of idolatry.

Are we awed by God?

There have been many times in my life when I’ve had incredible encounters with my Lord; in church services, in nature, or in the privacy of my home, while reading Scripture, when praying, and while just going about my life.  Each time has been powerful, impactful, and uniquely designed for me in that moment. I’m in awe that the King of kings wants to have a personal relationship with me.

I hope that the awe never fades as it seems to do with my awe of nature.  I pray that I will never get to the point where I have an opportunity to worship God and instead just go on with the task of the moment.  Forgive me, Lord for the many times I’ve done so over the years. As I journey with Him daily, I find that He is more amazing with each step and each moment.  I used to think that I would eventually get to fully know Him. Now, I’m finding that the more I know, the greater desire I have to know more. And there is so much more of Him to get to know!

When we meet personally with the Lord Almighty, do we come before Him nonchalantly or with awe?  Has an encounter with Him become common to the point of lacking awe? Or do we fall before Him aware of our shortcomings as did the prophet Isaiah (6:5)?  I encourage you to not lose the awe of the Lord, allowing the extraordinary to become common. He is more than worthy of our worship and desires to journey with us as we live in complete amazement of Him.

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