That word is often used to describe everything from your most recent meal to the creator of the universe. That covers a lot of ground.
I have had issues with using that word for some time ever since hearing the song “Awesome God” written and released first by Rich Mullins and then covered or released by every other contemporary Christian artist on the planet, or at least it seemed that way.
Here is the issue as I viewed it. If “Our God is an awesome God” as the song states, then anything or any other person described with the word awesome I was now comparing to God. It made sense to me and I even taught, or tried to teach, my children the same thing, to be judicious in the use of the word awesome.
I do think the word is over-used which negates its effectiveness as an adjective that really means anything. If everything is awesome then awesome becomes average and the word does not really maintain its original meaning.
I was really giving the word awesome too much weight or credit. When you really think about it there is no word we, as humans, can create or use that will adequately describe God. To think that we can come up with such a word is giving ourselves way too much credit.
God is God. (period)
What has caused me to rethink my legalistic view and use of awesome is a book I just finished reading. The book is Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters. On the cover of this book is a toggle switch with Average on one side and awesome on the other. You can see this in the image below, the sidebar or at the link above.
How did I get to read a book before it was released?
A little background is necessary here to catch you up on how I came to have the privilege of reading this book as it is not due to be released until Monday.
I have been a Jon Acuff fan since listening to his audio book Stuff Christians Like on a road trip to Tuscaloosa a couple of years ago. I was in tears due to laughing so much. Since then I have also listened to the audio version of Quitter. My wife and daughter went to the inaugural Quitter Conference in Nashville and I think that did play a part in my daughter changing jobs and getting her dream job at Walt Disney World.
I followed Jon on twitter, Facebook and his blog and have seen his stature as an author, speaker, and a genuine “good guy” continue to rise. Due to those connections I was asked to join the START Book Launch Team. After contemplating that request for about half a second I responded and was selected to be a member of this team. That is how I was given the opportunity to read this book before the official release date and I am grateful for that opportunity. It has allowed me to connect with many other Jon Acuff fans and bloggers similar to me.
Everybody has them
You will learn or be reminded that fear and doubt are common hurdles that everyone faces when they decide to start working on their dream. Jon describes how they work together to foil your plans and what you can do to jump those hurdles or just knock them down and walk over them. In his words he exhorts you to “punch fear in the face.”
He uses his own brand of humor, which, apparently is a lot like mine because I really enjoy it. Where else will you read about wiffleball CSI, Ferretopia, corncob pipe whittling, and being a presentist? I am confident the only place you will find these mentioned is in START. Those words have no suggestions in my spell checker either.
It IS up to YOU
Jon’s premise that he supports very well is that there are five stages every awesome life goes through but the timing of when one goes through these stages has changed and no longer need to be defined by one’s age. The timing is defined by you and the choices you make. These stages are learning, editing, mastering, harvesting, and guiding. You will learn what these stages include and how to determine exactly what stage you are in now and what you need to do in order to move to the next stage for you.
“The greatest way to ensure you fail at something new is to attempt to be an expert at it on day one.”
That statement has encouraged me in writing this blog. I know it is a long way from being awesome, but I started this blog in order to practice and improve my writing skills and the fact that I am continuing is awesome for me.
So, I have lightened up on myself and my legalistic view of awesome and have a new perspective on what that word means to me. If you are reading this and would like to explore finding your own awesome and make an intentional change from the average path you are on, if that applies to you, then make a very small investment in your future that just might help set you on your own path to awesome.
If this does help even one person then I have followed another of the principles of START that says,
“If you want help for your dream, start by helping someone else with their dream. If you want support for your hope, start by giving support to someone else’s hope. If you want encouragement as you work on your calling, start by encouraging other people. Giving support is often the best way to get it.”
I will be giving you help, support, and encouragement as well as Jon with the sale of one more book.
Bold, or maybe not so bold prediction
That last principle reminds me of one I learned from Zig Ziglar which says, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” I mention that here because I think Jon Acuff is worthy of being mentioned as being in the same mold as Zig Ziglar. I know there will never be another Zig Ziglar but Jon reminds me of Zig in many different ways such as his writing, sense of humor, and character. I believe he is on course to helping many many people in his career with his books and speaking just as Zig did. In fact I expect that to happen so remember you heard it here first.
I urge you to begin your journey to awesome today. Get START to help you punch fear in the face and flip that switch from average to awesome.
In case I didn’t make it clear above let me state it plainly here, I think START is awesome!
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Until next time…
Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 04/21/2013
P.S. Jon has added to his series this year with Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done. I will probably have a few words to share about this book later but you can click on the link above or the image below see what Jon has learned since START and give yourself the gift of done today.