Tag Archives: awe

More is More

In “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” the people who had seen the extraterrestrial vehicles in the sky, gathered on the hill in wonder and amazement, hoping to see more.  You should experience that attitude when you attend a church: people who have glimpsed a beautiful and powerful mystery and want more.  Sadly, many churches seem to know all the answers, to have everything tied up in neat bundles.  They have lost their taste for mystery.  Stay away!  Those so-called churches are dangerous; they have died.  A pastor who considers himself to be an expert has not encountered God.

When Paul encountered Jesus, it blew his mind so thoroughly he couldn’t see for days.  Before that, he was an expert.  After that, he wrote,

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12

Getting a Grip

Grasping the enormity of God is impossible; He is too big, too much.  We do well to only get a small grip.  We know He exists; we just can’t wrap our mind around Him.  For a number of years, my response to the impossibility of fully knowing God was to tell myself (and everybody else) that there was no God.  I’d say, “I’m not going to believe in God unless I can fully understand Him.”  Then my seatmate on a plane said, “Buddy, if you can fully understand it, it isn’t God.”  Good point.  And, there are a lot of things we don’t fully understand (like, for me, how this blog thing works) and yet we know they exist and use them.

That guy’s remark helped me stop being such a skeptic, and dare to be a real skeptic in the original sense of the word.  “Skeptic” comes from the Greek word, skopos, which means to look deeply and carefully into something to ascertain the truth of it.   If you think about it, it’s much more exhilarating to look into things you do not understand fully.   That’s why it’s fun to watch a child learning about soap bubbles.  That’s why it’s exciting to swim with dolphins.  That’s what motivates scientists.  Probing what we do not fully  understand fills us with awe and wonder.

God exists.  He created everything, knows everything, has power over everything.  And for some reason we cannot fully understand, He loves you.  We cannot fully grasp God.  But get a grip on Him and let your heart be filled with wonder and awe.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.   Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)[1]

[1] The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.