A closer look at today’s quote:
I have always been fascinated with the words, awful and awesome.
The root word – “awe” – originally indicated terror and fear. To feel so reverent toward something because it scares you. Awful used to mean “worthy of respect and fear.” And now we use it to describe something that is bad or unpleasant. Awesome means extremely excellent or good.
In present day, here is the definition of awe:
noun 1. a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.
verb 2. inspire with awe. synonyms: filled with wonder, wonderstruck, awestruck, amazed, astonished
This one little word can mean both fear and wonder.
My daughter, my fourth child, celebrated her 8th birthday today. On every birthday of every child I think about their birth and how much they have grown. I stand back to see who they are becoming and pray so that I may support them without expectation or projecting my own desires. But I do wish things for them. I wish for them to discover Life. I wish for them to see the beauty in it.
When they hear “Life speak,” I want them to stand in awe. But I know that this awe can strike terror. Life itself can seem too big and too much. How can I help them learn not to be scared of its vastness and depth so that they may explore to its fullest and highest? Will they follow her in “wonder and astonishment” or be to afraid to even listen to her call? When Life is hard, will they turn inward to see that it is their own perception or will they place blame outside themselves, on Life itself?
Without both types of awe, the wonder AND terror kind, there is no respect for Life or the opportunity to see the connection of all things. Without awe, we wouldn’t be able to hold the small beauties in the same esteem as the magnificent creations of our world. A life without awe means a life without paying attention – life with a lowercase l. Awe means we can be content with the mysterious and the unknown. We learn humility with awe. To look upon something with a tinge of fear and a sense of wonder means that assumptions disappear and we are no longer arrogant. We can admit that we don’t know and may never know the secrets of Life.
But if we listen to that silence at the end of an exhale, to the rustle of the leaves in the trees, to the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks, we can hear her speak.
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.