Wednesday, October 10, 2012


How often do you hear people say that something is awesome?

It seems everything is awesome these days:
the weather
a t.v. show
the new quarterback
a rollercoaster...
The list goes on--just about anything and everything is described as being awesome.

There's even a cheer:
A-W-E-Some, Totally Awesome!

Are those things awesome, though?
What, exactly, makes something awesome?

Webster says that awesome means "inspiring awe."
Thanks, Web, but that definition doesn't do us a whole lot of good. Digging a little deeper, then, what is awe?

awe: n. fear mingled with admiration or reverence. synonyms: fright, wonder, reverential fear

Looking back at that list, how many of those things actually inspire awe?

I used to use "awesome" to describe all the things I listed and a whole lot more. A few years ago, though, I heard somebody talk about the true meaning of "awesome." They argued that we should rethink the use of the word, reserving it for things that are truly awe inspiring.

Namely, God.

I don't know about you, but when I eat a pizza, no matter how good it is (and we've found some great pizza places here in Toledo--one of the best things about a big city!), it has a hard time inspiring reverential fear in me.

Since that day I've tried to be a lot more conscientious about my word choice. Awesome is now a word I do my best to reserve for God.

God is wrathful yet merciful.
He is our judge, yet He lets us call Him "Abba."
He is all powerful and rules the universe, yet He listens to our prayers and counts the hairs on our heads.

Those are definitely reasons to both fear and revere someone in my book!  

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