Awe: an overwhelming feeling produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like.
When was the last time you felt awe? If it’s been a while, slow down and open your eyes to what (and who) is around you.
What was your response to being awed? Were you overcome – or maybe paralyzed – by fear?
Awe is a beautiful, powerful, overwhelming experience that points us beyond ourselves to something which is wholly other. Awe should lead to reverence and wonder – an experience which culminates in the numinous (an often quoted concept of, you guessed it, C.S. Lewis!). Awe is not meant to produce hiding or fear or paralysis (or ‘stuckness’).
Think about Peter, James, and John on the mountain as Jesus is Transfigured. As this incredible event is unfolding before their very eyes, the bible says that the disciples fall on their faces, “FILLED WITH AWE” (Matt. 17:6).
Their response isn’t reverence or worship or wonder. It’s hiding in fear. The next verse says, “But Jesus came and touched them. ‘Get up,’ he said. ‘Don’t be afraid.” (Matt. 17:7)
Be awed and – within that awe – do not be afraid.