Can you think of a time when something grabbed your heart with such passion that it felt like you would explode with enthusiasm, only to have it later become familiar and routine? Maybe it’s your job, a relationship, a hobby, or even God. When things are new, there often is a sense of excitement. But when things become familiar, often our passions wane.
Many Christians have loss their sense of awe and wonder of God. We have read the grand narrative of redemption many times and it doesn’t excite us as it once did. We go to church, maybe get involved in community outreach or a small group. We are doing the right things, but our sense of awe and wonder of God is missing.
This is true for pastors as well. As I talk with seminary students and pastors, they often tell me that scripture has become a textbook. They spend so much time exegeting a passage and preparing a sermon for others that they have lost their personal sense of awe of God. When it comes to serving, pastors can spend so much time strategizing and developing “new and exciting” ministries that they get lost in the details of programs. The awe and wonder of God becomes an afterthought.
In Psalm 145 the Psalmist describes a daily awe of God.
I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.”
How do we capture this awe of God?
I live on the west coast. The Pacific Ocean is less than two miles from my house. I enjoy going there and taking in God’s creation. In the early mornings I see intense reds, yellows and oranges lighting up the sky. Clouds are airbrushed across the horizon. The waves powerfully and relentlessly roll upon the shore. Flocks of sandpipers frantically peck at the wet sand to find food as the waves return to the sea. Pelicans skim the surface of the water looking for fish. A pod of dolphins playfully swims by. I am awestruck at the creativity of God.
As I continue to gaze over the ocean I see the ingenuity and creativity God has given to man. It is early morning, so the sea is dotted with surfers. Each surfer is waiting for the perfect wave. Their surfboards are ingeniously designed to allow them to perform artistic and acrobatic moves. As the face of the wave stands up, the surfer takes off. The wave becomes his canvas to paint. As he carves up and down the face of the wave, water sprays like a rooster tail marking where he has been. As this surfer continues to paint, he flies off the lip of the wave and does a three-sixty acrobatic turn and crashes back down on the water and continues to paint his masterpiece. Every ride is a new canvas on which to paint. It is inspiring to watch. Our God is so creative.
You might not live by an ocean, mountain or stream; but God’s wonders are all around us. We need to be more like the psalmist. We need to slow down and remind ourselves about the God of wonder. Not only is he creative, but he is loving, merciful and desires to walk with us.
Many of us have heard and read the stories of God. How he sent Jesus to redeem us from this broken world. And yet, we often let these magnificent truths skip right by us. We think, “I have too many things to do. I can’t slow down.” Thus time marches on and our soul dries out. We find our passion for God barely alive like a withering tree desperate for rain.
I encourage you to read Psalm 145. Drink in these words. Allow this powerful Psalm to refresh your soul. Maybe it will inspire you to slow down enough each day to realize the God of all creation and comfort wants to walk with you each and every day.
How are you amazed by God? How do you remind yourself of the wonders of God? What do you do to help your passion for God to flourish? Please post your thoughts.