Friday, September 26, 2008

The "Awesome" Factor

Originally posted at

What is awesome? Many people would tell you a variety of things are. Cell phones are "awesome." Cars, magic tricks, science experiments, tech gadgets, vacations, and all manner and sorts of things are "awesome." "Awesome" is trendy. It's stylish. The word can be attached to almost anything the user likes, which can be a great many things. It can be applied to people, animals, and even bacteria, if you're looking through a microscope.
A while ago, some members of our family, including myself, began to mockingly say, "It inspires awe!" after anyone would call a rather ordinary and seemingly undeserving object or action "awesome."
Some things do inspire awe, however, including some of the things I mentioned before. God's creations- plants, humans, animals and the universe are all very awesome. Ultimately God himself is awesome, in a different, "terrible" way, as attested in Psalm 66, verse 3:

"Say to God, 'How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power
that your enemies cringe before you....'"

And later in verse 5:

"Come and see what God has done,
how awesome his works in man's behalf!"

One example is the human body, which is "awesome," in a drastically less important and different sort of way- an elegantly elaborate system with an ingenious design. Far better than the most powerful computer (which, to a far, far, lesser extent could also be considered awe-inspiring), the human body has a right to be called spectacular, and the God who made it should be duly acknowledged as "awesome."
The cheapening of the word doesn't make people truly appreciate what is "awesome," and that's a shame.

As C.S. Lewis wisely said:

"Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. "

You can be sure I'll be thinking about this one this week!

No comments: