Using the Power of Awe for Your Family

Take a moment to recall the last time you experienced something immense…so immense that it made you stand in awe…so immense that it led you to change your perception of the world. Perhaps you felt a sense of awe when you watched the gymnasts compete during the Olympics. Or, maybe you felt a sense of awe after seeing a picture of the Grand Canyon or perhaps the power of a recent storm. I felt a sense of awe driving through the Laurel Mountains this weekend. Recently, I read a series of studies showing that experiencing awe gave one the perception of having more time. Time seems to expand after experiencing a sense of awe and a person feels like they have more time. With an expanded sense of time, people often exhibited more patience. They also showed a greater willingness to give their time to others and they experienced a momentary boost in life satisfaction. All this because they simply experienced awe! This made me think…wouldn’t it be nice if my family members exhibited more patience, shared their time with one another, and seemed happier for a time? Experiencing awe could facilitate this experience. When we find a way for our families to experience awe together, we encourage them to feel like they have more time and, as a result, increase their patience and willingness to spend time together. So, how can we help our families experience awe?
     ·         Visit places and events that are awe-inspiring. This might include visiting a natural formation like the mountains, the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls or the sunset. An awe-inspiring event could also elicit awe…an event like a concert (the symphony, the CLO, or the ballet) or something like the Cirque du Soleil.

·         Share awe-inspiring stories with one another. Tell your family members about something awe-some that you experienced. This could include something you saw, something you heard, or something you read.

·         In all of these events, take pictures so you can re-experience this awe at a later time by simply reviewing the pictures and talking about the event with one another.

·         You can also seek out awe-inspiring videos to share with your family. It’s fun to look and fun to share.

·         Worship together. Christian families have the opportunity to experience awe in their worship of an awe-inspiring Father. Take the time to seek out aspects of God that produce awe and share those with one another. Combining the last two points, I’d like to share this video with you…an awe-inspiring video. So, gather the family around and share a time of awe. Enjoy the benefits of sharing this awe with your family.

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