From the vantage point of my warm bed, I watch the eastern sky grow pink over the familiar hills of home. It is cold outside. I have no desire to go out and watch the sun rise as I did just a few days ago on the beach in Mexico. While is the same sun rising here, in the (currently) frigid north, as the one that rose over the Caribbean see a few hours earlier, the experience of it is far different.
I’m grateful for this quiet moment, and yet in that there is a restlessness. The word and the concept—gratitude—has become overused. I talk (write) much about things for which I am grateful. I wonder: has gratitude taken the place of awe?
It’s starting to gnaw at me a bit, this focus on what the Creator is doing for me, sometimes to the exclusion of wonder and worship for who He is. Gratitude puts my attention on that which has been created; I am wise to be in awe of the One who created.
On a smaller scale, but perhaps one that my human mind can understand: I can’t fully appreciate place of Westminster Abbey unless I give consideration to those, over the course of hundreds of years, who built it. Similar principle, minus the divinity of the creation of everything that is. Okay, maybe not that similar at all, but you get my point.
There’s nothing wrong with gratitude—it is a right and proper response. But when it becomes the focus, and I neglect to simply stand in awe and ascribe honour, something has gone askew.
So, as the sun peeks above the hills I remind myself to remain grateful, but more: to linger long in awe and wonder at the majesty of the Creator.
From a Christian perspective, gratitude and wonder are two sides of the same coin. Thanks for helping me see the two attitudes in a new way, Linda.