A Chronic Lack of Awe

Ken Duncan
By Ken Duncan

Have you ever wondered why days seemed to last forever when you were a child… and now it feels like we blink and another week’s over?

The pace of life is faster than ever and we can trip over just trying to keep up. We have all this technology to make life easier, yet no invention that can slow down time.

A 2012 study published in Psychology Today has revealed the real problem… We’re all suffering from a chronic lack of awe.

During the study, some volunteers watched imagery that was funny, while others watched ‘awe inspiring’ imagery.

Surprisingly, those who watched the ‘awe inspiring’ imagery felt like they had more time, as if time had slowed down.

And it makes sense.

I’m sure that like me, during childhood you spent countless hours outdoors looking up at the clouds, or the magnificent night sky.

But as we get older, we can tend to stop looking up and spend more time looking down at computer screens and smart devices.

My basic philosophy is best summed up by these words: “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

I consider myself an average photographer, with a great God – I’m merely an interpreter of God’s creation.

My ‘office’ is the lush rainforests of the Daintree, desert wonders like Uluru and our magnificent, endless beaches. I’ve travelled the world, interpreting God’s creation and I’ve come to realise that the only appropriate response is an overwhelming sense of ‘gratitude.’

Gazing into crystal clear water at the foot of a glorious, roaring waterfall is like staring into the face of God – truly comprehending His creative nature and His rich blessings.

‘Walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen colour and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.’ (Matthew 6:29)

Take a moment to really stop and smell the roses; lie on your back and stare up at the stars, like you used to when you were a child.

Perhaps over the years, it’s not just your childlike sense of awe that’s left you but also your childlike faith.

Maybe it’s time to recapture that, too.

‘Enter with the password: ‘Thank you!’ Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him’. (Psalm 100:4)

When we truly immerse ourselves in God’s creation, we can’t help but feel thankful. It creates a certain sense of perspective – the same God who created the Universe is taking care of each one of us.

I believe God has an incredible destiny for Australia and for us as Australians. As we start to say ‘Thank you,’ He’ll start to open up those doors even more.

At a time when there’s so much fear and anxiety around the world, what is the answer? I believe the answer is faith and thankfulness for what God is going to do. Our help and our hope is in Him.

The National Day of Thanksgiving is on Saturday 30th May, 2015. It’s an opportunity for us to stop, as a nation, and say ‘thanks’ to God and to each other for the blessings we all enjoy.

For more information, visit www.thanksgiving.org.au

Ken Duncan is an award winning Australian photographer and an Ambassador of the National Day of Thanksgiving.


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