I take so much for granted. So much! And I’m guessing I’m not on my own. Of course the slide in to this state of mind happens at such an imperceptible rate you tend to hardly ever notice. It’s not as if you get up in the morning and say to yourself whilst shaving…’today is the day I will allow another little piece of my appreciation for things to slip down the plug hole.’ It’s more subtle than that. More invisible. Much more gradual. But just as ugly. Sadly, but not surprisingly, it is usually what we are closest to that loses the most shine over time. Like getting too familiar with the familiar if that makes sense.
Consider then the possibility for a second that one of the worst signs of this affliction in your own life is how you think presently about God. I appreciate there are all sorts of other areas we could explore and each would be well worth our time. People in our lives. The church we attend. The same view we’ve enjoyed for years. Like the trees in your garden that amazed you when you moved in. For the whole of that first year you looked on as the seasons brought their change but now you hardly give them a second glance. Or maybe in your case you should think about how you are valuing your spouse. Maybe it’s time you remembered you are seriously rich compared to huge swathes of the world’s population. Maybe it’s time you were coming down with thankfulness because, up to this point, you have been gifted with health. But all that aside, think for a few moments about God. And think about this terrible possibility. Think that this might have snuck up on you and caught you unawares. Has God lost His shine?
Even as I write that there is a part of me that winces and probably because I know what the answer is. I am absolutely certain that even in this last month there have been multiple days when God has been unexceptional to me. Normal. Regular. Ordinary. The usual. Like someone I had been with 10,000 times before. Or what you feel when ‘The Great Escape’ comes on at Christmas again. You’ve seen it all and although you’re not bored you think you know all there is to know.
Something happens when we are close to things / people for a while, and if we are not careful there is something similar that happens when we are drawn close to God. What once was jaw-dropping becomes mundane. What used to produce worship doesn’t! What was formally stunning no longer is!
Don’t get me wrong here. It’s not that it’s always this way and I have no moments of awe. I do! I’m thankful for that! Just last Sunday night I was walking under the stars and for a few beautiful moments I was caught up with the magnificent power of our Maker. I felt small and He seemed large and I worshipped HIm. Or this morning I was reminded from Romans chapter 8 that having given His Son for me, God is so committed to my life He is actually going to give me ‘all things’. Nevertheless, of this we can be sure – we were not made for flashes of worship or bursts of awe. It was never God’s intention for us to remember two or three special moments in the course of any given week. What He longs for is moment by moment awe. From test to test. From decision to decision. From day to day. A view of Him that causes us to say every morning, ‘there is so much I have yet to discover about You but what I have discovered is unfathomably good.’
Can I remind you as you read this (as I remind myself) that God is great. He is greater and more worthy of your worship than anything / anyone else in your life. He literally is awesome! You may be close to Him but don’t get used to Him. By grace you may know Him but don’t think you’ve exhausted Him. And then there is this thought – millions in our world have yet to catch their first glimpse. They live life without experiencing His Fatherly care. They don’t know He is great and they don’t know He is good. But here’s the thing. You do! And that is not all. Because you know that He is worthy of your awe!