Wednesday, September 15, 2010


‘Awesome’ has to be the most overused word of the 21st century. Everything is awesome nowadays: music, movies, actors, haircuts, parties, mobile phones, friends, outfits. My youngest son uses it all the time. He comes home from school - ‘Awesome’. He plays soccer out in the back yard - ‘Awesome’. The next-door neighbour invites him to come and play - ‘Awesome’. We have dessert after dinner - ‘Awesome’.

Of course, none of these are really awesome. They’re good or maybe very good, but they’re not awesome.

It’s hard to even say what awesome means nowadays because even our similes for it have been overused. Incredible, wonderful, amazing, brilliant. We’re so prone to over-exaggeration that we now have no words for when something really is incredible, wonderful, amazing, brilliant - or awesome.

I think when we’re confronted with true awesomeness, we don’t even say awesome. We don’t speak. We don’t even think. We are lost in the wonder of something beyond ourselves.

A newborn baby - awesome. This world - awesome. Sacrificial love - awesome. An all-powerful, all-loving God - awesome. A fully divine, fully human Christ - awesome.

We may use the word a lot, but I don’t think we’re that great at recognising true awesomeness. Maybe we need to stop saying it and start seeing it.

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