Are we awesome alone? (random quick thought while I still love the word, awesome)

Just today I found myself telling someone that they were awesome. I also said they reminded me of someone in my family. I then felt like I needed to clarify:

“That’s not to say you aren’t awesome in your own right! But I wonder if any of us are awesome in our own right… We are awesome only among others… (don’t mean to ramble on… I get analytical when I write…) Anyways, You’re Awesome!”

If God made us in His likeness as “persons”, created to live among webs of relationships so that to be a perfect person is still to be incomplete without others, then are we truly awesome by ourselves? (more on Kinlaw to come : ) ) It seems that our awesomeness is only found outside ourselves. (I am only brain-storming here, that’s how I process things, talking/writing them through…) I am not saying that there isn’t awesomeness in us. God made us awesome. But were Adam and Eve really awesome in their Fall? I think they lost their awesomeness. I think we have a mindset in the West that’s so “Self” focused. Awesomeness is realized in the context of other-oriented relationships. We are awesome because someone says so. We are awesome because we are made to say others are awesome. What is my definition of awesomeness? I think it’s simply goodness. Sorry reader, I don’t want to blind you with my rays of pure awesomeness. But it’s ok, there’s no charge for awesomeness. : ) Hey, this is not a complete thought or post. Comment and ask a question. This is just a normal peach tree, no inTIMidation.

4 thoughts on “Are we awesome alone? (random quick thought while I still love the word, awesome)

  1. Wow… As you said, this a very stream of thought post. I do have two questions, though.

    Do you really think it’s correct to say, “We are awesome because someone else says so.” Are we no longer awesome if there’s no one to appreciate our awesomeness? Do you really think it’s accurate to make an attribute in ourselves conditional upon the view of someone else?

    Secondly, do you really think it’s fitting to define the word “awesome” from the colloquial use of it? Nowadays people just mean that something is cool, interesting, or maybe even amazing. However, what the word originally meant is exactly what it sounds like awe-some. It’s supposed to describe something that evokes awe in us. I just think that definition is more, well, awesome.

  2. Hey, thanks for commenting.
    1. My whole point in this post is trying to emphasize that as persons, we are incomplete without others. In a sense, I think everyone is awesome because everyone is a person. But you can’t really be a person without having others. This may seem like a new concept to our western self-infused mindset. But think about it, you came from your parents, you live off the breath and food that God provides for you, you were made to be relational and you can’t be relational without others. You are not yourself without others. I almost want to re-translate Gen. 2:18, “It’s not awesome for man to be alone”. I think that to be utterly alone may be comparable to Hell.
    Now, “We are awesome because someone says so.” Ok, I’m actually going to defend myself. I think ultimately I am speaking of the Someone who created us in His likeness. Because he said, “Let Us make Matthew and Truman in our image…” therefore, we are awesome. But our awesomeness, our uniqueness, our loveliness, our beauty is only found in being just like Him. And what is God like? Well, Jesus came to earth to clarify that for us (Read John’s Gospel to see what God is like), 3 persons, other-oriented and summed up in one phrase, “God is Love”. And Love can only exist where there is an other. Human goodness is found in God and God’s greatest vision/dream/will for man is that we would walk in this same kind of Love (the 1st and 2nd Commandment).
    2. My definition of awesome: our unique personhood being expressed. I don’t look at it as an attribute, but an overall view of our unique person. And I admit, it’s not the best word to use, but I like it. 🙂 I think we would admit that persons are truly AWE-some when we consider that we were made in the likeness of the Triune God, The Three-in-One, living together in other-oriented, self-giving love, where no one person is complete without the other 2. We were made to be like that, and when we are not like that, we are not being truly human, therefore we are not really awesome.

    “I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good (aka, awesomeness) besides/apart from You.” Ps. 16:2

  3. I agree with you that God is necessary for our identity, my contention was more with the fact that you were so general in your terms. If you had made the ‘S’ in someone capitalized in your original statement, “We are awesome because someone says so. We are awesome because we are made to say others are awesome.” I would have agreed.

    I disagree that anyone besides God is necessary, though. We do require someone else to love and be loved by, but God entirely fills that void he created in us. People are just a bonus, because ultimately what Allen Hood thinks I am doesn’t really matter. Whether or not he’s able to understand what particular part of God I was made in the image of won’t really be the litmus test for whether or not I successfully walked it out.

    And while I understand where you’re coming from with your definition of awesome, I have to say that no, I don’t really agree that being made in God’s image makes us awesome. But then again, I’m pretty hard to impress. When I think of awesome, I think the God of Ezekiel 1 that rides upon a chariot that doesn’t even turn when it changes directions. The God of Revelation 4 that compels those who see him to worship just by revealing the nature and essence of who he is. So while we may be made in his image, the gap between him and us is still infinite.

    So once you manage to make me fall on my face, then I’ll say you fit the original definition of awesome.

  4. C.S. Lewis said that if we truly saw ourselves as we are in glory, we would be tempted to worship one another… That’s called awe. If John was going to worship an angel and he was utterly in awe at the harlot, how much more us?

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