"...fills us with awe."
"A golden glow is seen in the north, and the glory of God fills us with awe." (Job 37:22)
Patti and I were driving up the coast of northern California a few weeks ago when suddenly the road veered away from the water and began to wind its way up and up and up and up and up... It seemed like there was an endless progression of steep switchbacks with 5mph curves as we made our way through dense forests populated by groves of stately redwoods. At the top there was a small pull-over along the side of the road. We were gifted with the view in the picture. Like the Old Testament writer, the glory of God filled us with awe. I think we know it's "awe" when there are no words. Instead, there's that leaping of our soul which wordlessly whispers things like, "WOW!," and "AHHH," or, "OH BOY!" The feeling of awe is also often accompanied by a feeling of peace and an awareness, like Moses, that we should take off our shoes because we're on holy ground. In other words, we're standing in the presence of God! I felt all those things on the top of that mountain, but I also have to confess that the picture you see at the top is not what I actually viewed. The picture below captures what Patti and I actually saw that day.
If you look carefully you'll be able to see that the top picture is a cropped and enlarged version of a picture like the second one. In other words, we actually got only a glimpse of the spectacular view as the fog rolled over the Pacific Ocean and the redwood forests. The trees were so thick that regardless of how much I paced back and forth, stooping and stretching to see through the limbs, I could catch only a glimpse of the awe-inspiring wonder unfolding below us.
Isn't that often the case - that we catch only a glimpse - a glimpse of the Holy, a glimpse of sheer delight, a glimpse of peace, a glimpse of comfort, a glimpse of hope, a glimpse of joy? Yet like Moses who went to the mountaintop and received a glimpse of God face to face, or Martin Luther King, Jr. who said he had been to the mountaintop and seen the Promised Land, we can be inspired and empowered by just that glimpse. We must nurture its memory and act from the encouragement it gives our souls.
A glimpse, just a glimpse, just a moment of awe can change us forever. I pray that God will help me remember the moments when Divine love has awed my soul, and act from them for the sake of God's Kingdom. How about you?
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia
PS "Wednesday Wonderings" is two-years old with this edition. Thanks for your interest and encouragement.
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"...fills us with awe."