Because it was in Parade Magazine, that little under 25-page newsprint magazine that accompanies most Sunday morning papers all over the country, you might have seen it yesterday. It was the feature article and had a picture of the earth taken from the moon, with the moonscape in the foreground. The title of the article was “Awe: How the soul-stirring wonder sparked by a shooting star or a majestic peak can transform your health and happiness.” It was about the scientifically investigated benefits of awe and wonder on the human condition.
Awe, as defined by psychologist Dacher Keltner, is “the feeling of being in the presence of something vast or beyond human scale, that transcends our current understanding of things.” Nowhere in the article was the concept of awe described as something spiritual, and yet, that’s clearly what it was all about. Awe was described “as a dramatic feeling with the power to inspire, heal, change our thinking and bring people together.” And Arizona State University psychologist Michelle Shiota said that awe “is now thought to be a basic part of being human that we all need.”
Then the article went on to list some of the things that awe does for us.
1. It binds us together.
2. It helps us see things in new ways.
3. It makes us nicer — and happier.
4. It alters our bodies.
And finally there was the healing potential of awe.
Isn’t it amazing all these things that awe does for us? Especially when you realize that awe is none other than worship. These are, in fact, all of the needs and benefits of worship, because awe is, after all, just another word for worship.
That means we can all experience these benefits every day by simply realizing we are at all times in the presence of the living God, and the one thing He requires is the one thing we most readily do in His presence: and that would be to worship Him.
Who ever thought worship could be so beneficial?