When I was a kid in religion class I cringed when the teacher spoke the words from scripture, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Yuk, I thought. I was already too full of fear and the last thing I wanted was more fear from a god who wanted to bash me on the head if I got out of line. And so, all I wanted to do was to high tail it out of class.

It wasn’t until later in my life, another teacher explained the word fear could also be interpreted as awe. Awe of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Awe describes a God who loves us just as we are. Unconditionally. A God who’s in relationship with us, just like we are with our loved ones; a God who’s madly in love with all creation and there’s nothing we can do about it, except lift our hearts with gratitude and love God in return with a really? it’s too good to be true—awe.

Awe creates wonder, amazement, and mystery.
Awe births joy.
Stirs reverence.

The sound of awe echoes from rolling waves lapping upon summer sands.

Awe sings its brilliant colors from setting suns and rising moons, from shooting stars and twinkling skies shouting God’s heavenly love letters to us.

Awe vibrates a playful verve up and down our marrow as we watch the hummingbird’s ballet darting to-and-fro overwhelming the world with her powerful simple beauty.

Awe brushes our skin as a dear one slips their hand into ours and we walk in peaceful silence.

Awe is the emotion that reminds us we are all One.

Awe opens our hearts allowing the God of love to flow within us, inspiring and guiding our earthly steps.

Awe of God is the beginning of wisdom, understanding, perceiving the depth and breadth of the One who loves us with every breath we take.


Recall a time when you felt a sense of awe.

What wisdom did that experience speak to you, within you?

Can you receive awe’s wisdom and lift it up in gratitude?

brian plachta
September 20, 2015



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