Scary Awesome

Martha and I had the opportunity last month to make a trip to Yellowstone National Park. It was one of Martha’s trips of a lifetime. It has always been one of the places she particularly wanted to go.

You know how something like that works. We have planned the trip for years but life kept getting in the way. We even thought we weren’t going to make it this year either. We certainly were blessed to get to go.

We visited the Grand Teton National Park which is only a few miles from Yellowstone. In many ways it is more breathtaking than Yellowstone. You can read more about our visit here.

We also spent some time in other parts of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Did you know that some of the interstates in Wyoming and Montana have an 80 MPH speed limit? We had a fun time driving!

But one of the most wonderful places we visited we didn’t even know about. We left Montana heading back into Wyoming and saw a promising looking highway that led from Red Lodge, Montana, to Cody, Wyoming. It’s the Beartooth Highway.

Martha described it as “scary awesome.” That meant she wanted me to “keep your eyes on the road” so that she could see the awesome scenery. It was an inspiring sight. We saw mountain goats at the pass crossing from Montana to Wyoming at 10,900+ feet. The switchbacks were truly scary, amazing, inspiring, and astounding.

Martha’s phrase about “scary awesome” kept reverberating in my mind. While the highway with its narrow road and amazing scenery was truly scary, it was the kind of scary you never want to miss.

I think of the gospel in the same way. It is “scary awesome.”

The gospel is scary because we have to “die to self” so that we can live to God. It means that we have to surrender the things we assume we could never live without. Scary awesome describes the sacrifice that Paul and Barnabas made when they left Antioch in Syria to take the gospel on the first missionary journey.

The gospel is awesome because to “live is Christ but to die is gain.” It is awesome because the “light momentary afflictions” of this present time is nothing compared to the glorious riches laid up in heaven for us. It is awesome because “henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge” has prepared for all of us who believe.

How sad for those people who miss so many awesome things in life because they are afraid.

How much more sad for those who miss the awesome blessings of the Christ life because they are afraid to submit to Christ. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed–a righteousness that is by faith from first to last . . . ” (Romans 1:16-17). The gospel transforms and makes alive. It changes. It is the power of God.

For this reason, life with Christ is sometimes scary. It demands fortitude, perseverance, and courage. But it is awesome–the kind of awesome you would never want to miss.

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2 Comments


  1. Freda Baine
    Aug 10, 2017

    Would have been awesome to see y’all on one of the look-outs or on the street in Cody or Red Lodge. We were there July 2,3,4


    • Waylon
      Aug 10, 2017

      That would have been an amazing and wonderful surprise!

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. — Romans 12:10 (NIV)