Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.*
Awe, now there’s a word that’s suffered a devolution.
“The universe is 10 billion light years across.” “Awesome.”
“Okay, I’ll see you at 5:00.” “Awesome.”
Can they both be awesome?
Seems it takes a lot to form a new word but very little to dilute an old one.
(“Awesome thought, Hyatt.” “Thanks.”)
I checked out the etymology of the word and find that awful came first. That’s “full of awe,” meaning “knee-shaking fear.” But when that word went mostly to the dark side, awesome came along to lift us up. Used correctly, it means “dread mixed with veneration,” particularly in reference to the Supreme Being. Still pretty knee shaking.
It’s a result of colloquial weakening that’s brought it down to merely “impressive,” or “very good.”
Or even “pretty good,” like . . . “Hey, I got a B on my test.” “Awesome.”**
Okay, but then what word do we use when we consider the following?
If the distance between the earth and the sun (92 million miles) was the thickness of a sheet of paper,
then the distance between the earth and the nearest star would be a stack of paper 70 feet high.
The distance across the galaxy would be a stack of paper 310 miles high.
Our galaxy (the Milky Way) has 500 thousand million stars.
Some galaxies are 100 times larger than ours.
There are an estimated 200 billion galaxies!
What do you say to that?
“Uhhhhhh . . . ”
The Ecclesiastes writer, who had a clearer view of the night sky, said, “Your little thoughts and plans are just that, stand in awe of God.”
It helps to put things in perspective.
See you next time.
* Ecclesiastes 5:7
**Actually, for me in high school, getting a B really was pretty awesome.
Next: Imagination: Peep Holes in the Walls of our Minds. Coming Sunday