“LORD, I have heard the report about You; LORD, I stand in awe of Your deeds.
Revive Your work in these years; make it known in these years.
In Your wrath remember mercy!”
How to Find More Time in Your Day
We’ve all heard people say, “I’m still trying to wrap my head around that,” when reaching for words to describe their response to an awe-inspiring experience. As it turns out, the idea of wrapping our heads around a new concept, is actually scientific. When we encounter something that, well, blows our minds, our minds literally create new pathways to accommodate and process the event. Crazy, right?
Awe takes place when our minds are stretched beyond what we’ve always believed to be true.
In fact, a study of awe and its effects defines awe as the emotion that arises when one encounters something so strikingly vast that it provokes a need to update one’s mental schemas. In other words, as an article in the Atlantic rephrased it, “awe is an experience of such perceptual expansion that you need new mental maps to deal with its incomprehensibility.”
And, that same study showed, people who experienced awe, “felt they had more time available, were less impatient, were more willing to volunteer their time to help others, and more strongly preferred experiences over material goods.”
All of us are looking for more time in our days, more patience, more of a desire to give to others, and less of a desire for more stuff in our lives.
Not surprisingly, the science (as it often does) points us straight to God.
If we’re looking to experience the benefits of awe, God has exactly what we need. As today’s Scripture reminds us, we only have to look as far as the reports we’ve been given about the God of the universe. In The Message translation of today’s passage from Habakkuk, Eugene Peterson offers this paraphrase of the first line in the prayer:
“God, I’ve heard what our ancestors say about You, and I’m stopped in my tracks, down on my knees.”
That, my sisters, is a perfect example of the experience of awe.
If you’re looking for more time in your day, more compassion for your neighbor, and less dependence on material goods, begin by recalling the things you’ve heard and seen and learned about our God. Allow the truth of God’s magnificence to drench your heart with amazement. Let the Holy Spirit expand your thinking as your mind creates new pathways to absorb the extravagance of God’s grace. Surrender to the transformative power of the Spirit to refocus your attention on the things in this life that matter most. Remember the stories handed down to us about the greatness of our God.
Then, let the sacred experience of awe expand your capacity to love and to worship and to serve, all in praise and honor of our awesome and holy God.
What stories of God stop you in your tracks and send you to your knees in awe?
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Sometimes the fact that I’m still here and standing brings me to my knees in awe. When I look back at all the times God has been faithful in my life, I can’t help but be amazed. Even when I was not faithful…He was always faithful because He can’t deny himself. A God that doesn’t ever get rocked, swayed, taken aback, surprised…that’s something I can’t get my mind around. That to me is awe. If that’s not enough, all I have to do is look at one flower amongst the myriad of possibilities. Who puts such detail into one of a thousand such species?? Only an awe inspiring God. I was intrigued by the “science” of awe…thanks for sharing!
Beth Williams says
Seeing a portrait of Christ crucified on the cross for me can get me to my knees. I find it hard to imagine that He still loves and woos me even when I’m not faithful. In nature look at the Grand Canyon or the beautiful Smoky Mountains and the wondrous fall colors–wow!
Vickie Shaver says
I love this friend! So very beautiful. Just yesterday as we celebrated my son’s first birthday, God stopped me in my tracks as I recalled the journey that led from loss and infertility to holding His promise in my arms. I cannot comprehend His grandeur alongside His personal relationship with each of His children that drives us to our knees in awe. Truly, it must be only by the literal renewing of our minds that we can even begin to grasp the height, depth, breadth and width of His love for us.
Joanna @ Modern Ruth Project says
Good word! I am awed simply by the evidence that I’ve seen of God working in my life to provide for me and protect me. God has given me incredible blessings for which I am daily thankful!
Deidra, I am so grateful for this wonderful post so needed this morning-it answers a prayer. In seeking the Lord at work in and around me and others, I want to kneel in awe of His gentle mercies, victories, miracles, and vast loving wisdom. He is so much higher than the heavens and I am so grateful He is our God, that He saved me. How great is our God! May we each be in awe today, experiencing His profound and tender love and work, arms and souls raised in praise 🙂
This is a very thoughtful post, thank-you.
There’s been a lifetime of ways, some more subtle. Most recently though was when my son, who was six at the time had a mild stomach ache. Although he had no other symptoms I felt Him nudge me that something wasn’t right. At the hospital I felt Him there in the same room He had been when I kissed a young girl good-bye. After they stabilized my son in ER, they transported us to another facility for an emergency appendectomy. To this day my son expresses his gratitude. I too will be forever grateful to Him, not only for that nudge but for bringing me to my knees in awe.
Blessings to all,
Jennifer Frisbie says
I’ve been absolutely captivated lately as I’ve been intentionally studying Sabbath and the margin it offers into our lives. It’s never been a priority in my life and one that I would argue over consistently with believers who still stood their ground that Sabbath was a gift and for our own benefit. But one early morning He whispered to me and I knew He wanted me to take a closer look. He wanted to offer up a little wisdom as I kept turning a blind eye.
I cannot even begin to tell you how I stand in awe over learning just how much balance it brings to my life. How improved my time management has become. How my spirit is refreshed and renewed – all from taking the time to be intentional about unwrapping that gift rather than leaving the packaging untouched. I am grateful to understand this on such a personal level and just how much “awe” it brings to my life as I marvel over the results.
I’ve asked Him for more of these moments. To be able to marvel and stand in awe over something that was there the entire time…
Rebecca Jones says
We all have the same amount of time, 24/7. It;s that Sabbath rest that we must labor for, resting in Him, we will get more done. Hebrews 4