I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of being awestruck lately. If I’m being honest, it’s an important part of loving God that I don’t practice enough. And here’s what I mean by awestruck: respect, fear and wonder all wrapped up in a mouth-wide-open-head-scratching stare at God. I don’t think those moments are hard to come by because God is anything short of awe-inspiring; it’s more we’re just too busy to remember that He is indeed just that. And most of us don’t have the resources (time, money, energy) to go on retreats and/or vacations that allow God the space to stir that up in us. So lately I’ve been trying to find ways to stand amazed at God between the proverbial “spiritual highs.” Because I think we should be in awe, awe-ften. See what I did there? So here are 5 places I’ve been in awe of God in the in-between lately:
Sitting in traffic. The most frustrating place on earth is a traffic jam. But look around you. In a two-mile stretch there are roughly 3000 cars. Let’s say half of them carry two people. That means there are about 4500 people within two miles of you on that interstate. That’s 4500 people God created and no two are the same. That’s 4500 people with a number of hairs on their head that God knows precisely. They each have a name and a story that matters to Him. That’s awesome.
Lawn weeds. Think about it, we spray chemicals and pull until our hands hurt and yet they’re back next week, waiting for us even if we’re talking about concrete. We don’t water them or care for them and yet they grow. We’ve actually made our children’s growth spurts sound impressive because they behave like something in the yard. God created a hardy, incredible mechanism when He created weeds. They have no support and still they thrive. That’s awesome.
Humidity. At this time of year where I live in Chicago, it’s hot and humid. And a lot of people would say they don’t mind the heat, it’s the humidity; preferring the “dry heat” of Arizona. But did you know scientists are finding that the flu has a harder time surviving in a humid environment? Haven’t you ever wondered why your mother always says you should run a humidifier when you’re sick? Summer in the Midwest usually lasts a week or so; isn’t it cool that God set it up where our likelihood of being sick for that short timeframe is lessened? That’s awesome.
Election season. I live in a country where I get a vote; where I get to worship my God every weekend without fear for my life. So even though it all feels uncertain, and everyone has a strong opinion, and I don’t know who to believe…there are millions and millions of people all over the planet that would trade places with me. I’m fortunate. I’m blessed. That’s awesome.
Exercise. I’m not a fan. I’ve tried so hard to find joy and pleasure in working out, but I can’t. However, it’s amazing to me—what our bodies can do if we start to move around a little more often. Every November and December I put on a few. That is not awesome, but I can’t get over the contraption God created in my body. It can literally change shape over time. If I run long enough and lift heavy enough, my physique changes. And all I am is bones, muscle fiber, and water; yet it can morph like an Autobot (shoutout to Transformer fans). That’s awesome.
So I’m convinced the key to being in awe more often is not getting away with more regularity— although I think that’s important to do every so often—instead, I think it’s finding the incredible in the mundane. I think it’s finding a big God in the little things; finding the good in the bad. Because God is that…awesome.
After serving as the Student Ministries Pastor for 10 years, Josh Petersen is now the Lead Pastor of Immanuel Church. He’s married to Heidi and together they live with Jake, Logan, Cole and Sawyer at the circus they call home.