the bottomline

Have We Lost the "Awe-factor," Wonderment?
4/21/2017 6:48:00 PM by: Dan Allen

Out of the corner of my eye I saw the awe-factor.

The largest birthday gift for one of our granddaughters was a duck backpack. She LOVES ducks. Anything ducks. It was too large to take into the eatery where we celebrated her third birthday—so Vonnie hid it behind her back in the parking lot and presented it to Charlotte when she got close. You should have seen the expression on that little girl’s face—little eyes wide open, hands to the mouth which was now aghast, a shutter over her whole little body and a squeal of shear pleasure and excitement. I was busy getting other stuff out of the car at the time, so only caught a glimpse, but it was enough to demonstrate the awe-factor.

Kids, who are frequently experiencing something for the first time that we take for granted, are often enthralled by what they see, hear, taste or smell. That’s why inter-active museums and petting zoos are so successful and essential for them to experience.

Perhaps you’ve seen Youtube videos of kids receiving an awe-inspiring gift resulting in shrieks and ending with tears of joy and crying.

But even adults can experience that awe-factor. It happened to me in a small, less dramatically- expressed way when I picked-up supplies from a catalogue company which now has a super-warehouse south of Allentown. The inside of the building looked like it was a mile long with 
tall rows of racks as far as the eye could see packed with stuff. “Wow” I exclaimed to the sales clerk who, it appears, had seen my expression before on others. My car was parked in front of garage door number 192. I doubt they skipped over any numbers.

We tend to lose the sense of wonder as things become common. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that at least once-a-week only 46% of American adults say they feel a sense of wonder about the universe. But 24% said they seldom or never had that feeling with the same percentage and results of those who self-identify as Protestants*. This could be why photos of sunrises, sunsets and rainbows, which grace the feeds on social networks, are glossed over by the majority who aren’t looking and wondering.

God-sightings are lost among all the clutter of life and have become “ho-hum” as opposed to breathtakingly spellbound.

Perhaps we need to stop, smell the roses and see what God is doing. Maybe we need to have more testimony meetings. The song—“Count your blessings name them one by one”—needs an updated contemporary sound and sung in church. When we hear of a soul that has been snatched from the grip of the evil one and is now a part of the family of God, we should truly rejoice—Heaven does (Luke 15:7, 10). When a person has gained victory over a sin that had him in its vice, we should be in tears at the wonder of God’s work. A God-sighting should spin-off in spontaneous clapping, squealing and cries of joy.

Of course, the ultimate awe-factor is still future when we will see Him—our Savior and Redeemer, face to face. I cannot even begin to imagine what that first glimpse will be like. Oh the wonder! Lyricist Bart Millard tried to elucidate that moment  – Surrounded by Your glory / What will my heart feel / Will I dance for you Jesus / Or in awe of You be still / Will I stand in your presence / Or to my knees will I fall / Will I sing hallelujah / Will I be able to speak at all / I can only imagine.

*World magazine, April 29, 2017, pg. 18.

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