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God on the Go: Feeling Awe

Get ready as we travel back in time on a cross-country move my family made when I was a kid. We went from Pennsylvania to California, complete with a stop at the Grand Canyon. Catch this though, I had a “rabbit obsession” that totally derailed my attention from the tour guide and the amazing beauty around me. With that said though, this hiccup led me to an epiphany about the power of awe. That feeling of being small and amazed by the world around us. The Bible is full of examples of awe and wonder at God’s creation. So, let’s embrace that jaw-dropping feeling of awe and appreciate the beauty of the world, and the awesomeness of God.

What’s New!

Monday Story:

  • Julie Lyles Carr seeing ‘rabbits’ at the Grand Canyon | The wonders of God’s creation

Tuesday Key Verse:

  • Matthew 9:6-8 – So he (Jesus) said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.

Wednesday Prayer:

  • Lord, thank you for a world that is full of things that make me feel awe. Thank you for your amazing creation. Thank you that you give me feelings about all of life. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Thursday Question:

  • What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen or experienced?

Friday Fun Fact:

  • Q: When you feel awe, how does it make a difference in how you treat other people?
  • A. It might seem like these two things don’t go together, but when you feel awe, you also tend to be more generous and helpful to other people. Psychologists think this is because feeling awe reminds us that there is something much bigger going on in the universe and it makes us more connected to others.

Show Notes:

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My family was making a move from Pennsylvania all the way to California, and my parents decided that because we had a couple of cats and we had some vehicles that we needed to move and on and on, that we would drive from Pennsylvania all the way to California. It was a really, really, long drive, I can tell you that for sure. We finally, after two or three days, got to the state of Arizona, and in Arizona there’s something called the Grand Canyon. It is this huge canyon right out there in the middle of the desert with the mountains off in the distance, and it is this big split in the earth with a river running through it. It’s super, super deep and it is just considered one of the marvels of the world.

I’m Julie Lyes Carr, and you’re listening to God on the Go, part of the Purposely Podcast Network, and we want to help you make the minutes matter when you’re on the go with your family.

So, there I was on this cross country move. We stop in Arizona because one of the things that my parents wanted to show us was the Grand Canyon, and part of what they scheduled for us to do was to get on this tour bus that was going to take us around the Grand Canyon and the tour guide on the tour bus was going to show us some things that are really unique about the area. As we were riding along, the tour guide several times kept pointing out, now look way down there. Look down at the river. Do you see the rabbits? And I kept looking and I could not see any rabbits. And then we’d drive a little further and then he would say, Oh, here look again right there, you can really see them. Those are some huge rabbits. And I kept looking for these huge rabbits and I was not seeing rabbits anywhere. Finally, the tour was over. We had done what we had come to do to see the Grand Canyon. We got back in the car to keep heading for our new home in California, and my parents said, so Julie, what did you think of the Grand Canyon? And I said, well, I thought it was kind of disappointing. And my parents said, what are you talking about? How can the Grand Canyon be disappointing? And I said, I did not see rabbits anywhere. My parents said, What? I said, there were no bunnies, there were no rabbits anywhere. And my parents started laughing so hard because what the tour guide had been pointing out was not rabbits, but rapids. Rapids are when you see the water down in the river rushing so fast that it creates all these little waterfalls and all this white water and the water’s just rushing and moving and going. And yet I had gone to the Grand Canyon, this incredible experience, this geological wonder, and I had gone on this tour and I walked away feeling really disappointed because I didn’t see any giant bunnies.

Okay. So, what I was supposed to have felt if I had understood more of what was going on was the awe that a lot of people feel when they go to the Grand Canyon. Awe is a really beautiful emotion. It’s the feeling when you’re so overwhelmed with how incredible something is. Maybe for you, it’s when you see a mountain or maybe when you’re at the beach and it just feels like the ocean goes on and on and on forever. Maybe there’s a piece of music that you’ve listened to that doesn’t make you necessarily feel upbeat, but it makes you feel something deeper, something bigger.

My dad was a rocket scientist and when he would see pictures taken from spacecraft they sent into space, it would fill him with a sense of awe at what God has created. Awe in a great kind of way, takes you off your mind. You feel a little smaller in awe of the world, the universe, and all that God has done.

Now here’s something interesting. When you feel awe, do you think it makes a difference in how you treat other people? So, it might not seem like those two things would go together, but when you feel awe, you also tend to be more generous and helpful to other people. Researchers think that’s because feeling awe reminds us that there is something much bigger going on in the universe and it makes us much more connected to others.

There’s someone in the Bible who talked a lot about being in awe. When we look at the Book of Psalms, when we look at the book of Ecclesiastes, when we look at various other books, there are writers who talk all the time about the awe they have about how God has created things. Everything from how people fall in love and being in awe of that, to how the ocean seems to just never end. To the stars in the sky to all of the incredible things about our universe, the Bible is full of moments where people have experienced such incredible awe at what God has done. It makes me think about this one time that Jesus was able to heal someone who had not ever been able to walk. He stayed on a mat and he was known in his community, people would share what they had with him as they could, but within the community, people knew that this was the guy who wasn’t able to walk. And when Jesus encountered him, he said to him, get up, take your mat and go home. And this man was healed. And the Bible says in Matthew nine verses six through eight, that when the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe, and they praised God who had given such authority to man. They knew this was something far beyond anything any of them could do. That’s how I feel when I go on a hike and I see the incredible mountains that God has made, or when I hear a newborn cry or when I see something else that God has done, and I know it’s something that I could never do, but that he can do. I’m filled with awe., just like those people that we talked about who encountered Jesus and saw him heal someone. A feeling of awe is so incredible because it reminds us that we’re little and our God is big. We have things we simply can’t do, and he can do anything he wants to do. That sense of awe is this beautiful comfort. It is this beautiful awareness of all that God is, and I think it’s one of the coolest emotions that God gives us, the ability to be in awe of him.

I want to encourage you to text the word go, that’s GO to 8 9 4 1 9 and we’ll be able to send you discussion questions, the trivia fact from today, Bible verse, all kinds of cool stuff. We can stay in touch that way because we want to help you make the minutes matter while you’re on the go. I’ll see you next time here at God on the Go.

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