Look, I’m not saying you MUST go to Grand Canyon. You MUST love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind. You MUST love your neighbor as yourself. This is the way unto salvation.
Of course you can live a happy life without seeing Grand Canyon. Creation’s majesty is everywhere. And you won’t offend me if you think it’s just a big, stupid hole in the middle of brown desert that would depress you with desolation. But you would be DEAD WRONG.
Yes, at the bottom of Grand Canyon flows the Colorado River. It’s roughly 2500 feet above sea level. Brown and hot describe here well. I won’t lie.
But those canyon walls rise. Every color of the spectrum glows as your eyes trace the ageless rock enveloping you four to five thousand feet above to the North and South Rims. Visualize these words for a moment.
Then there is the South Rim at 7,000 feet. You think that’s scorching desert? You think there’s no green and cool and everything that makes traveling perfect there? The five million people who visited this Rim in A.D. 2016 know better.
Life abounds on the South Rim! There are elk, mule deer, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, bobcats, squirrels, ravens, condors. There are ponderosa pines, pinon pines, junipers, yuccas, agave, flowers. There cool and wet yield life of stark contrast compared to the Sonoran Desert that scorches Phoenix. Northern Arizona is a different universe!
Then of course there is the North Rim – 15 miles across from the South. That’s at 8,000 feet. Higher views! More life! Buffalo roam its meadows. Fir and spruce and aspens declare an even cooler and wetter climate. It’s like Colorado. They have to close the North Rim in winter because of snow.
Look at the Google Earth snippet. Look at the green above and below the Canyon. That green means trees. It means what I’ve just talked about when you visit the National Park.
And, yes, there’s a big hole separating the North and South Rims. But it is a Grand Hole. In fact, it’s the most marvelous hole on planet earth! The sensations you experience as you behold its enormity stretching from horizon to horizon can be felt nowhere else in Creation.
Seriously, at one point – Yavapai Point – you stand at 7000 feet, and see 4500 feet down to the river, roughly 20 miles straight across to the North Rim, and 40 miles to the west and east horizons. Though there are canyons that are wider, or deeper, or longer, there are no canyons that are wider and deeper and longer than Grand Canyon. It makes you question reality.
This is not exaggeration. Your mind needs five minutes to adjust to the fact that what your eyes see is real. It is surreal. It is sublime. It arises within you feelings of awe, fear, reverence and inspiration all wrapped up in some fabric that warms your soul. It makes you realize how minuscule you are compared to the tectonic power of nature. Yet, beholding the majesty God’s creation here reminds you that He is in heaven above. It renders a certain peace, a certain assurance that all will be well.
And how can things be bad while looking at Grand Canyon? This is also not exaggeration.
Though when I first came to Grand Canyon at age 13, because all I wanted to do was go to Disneyland for the second half of my 1990 summer vacation, I was unimpressed.
Then I went back in 2015. I’d come to appreciate the beauty of nature that all men should know. I’d come to appreciate pure blue wisping clouds that cast shadows on the rocks becoming gold, crimson and violet as the sun set over Northern Arizona. My heart swelled with the prospect of living life in ways as new and endless as that vast western horizon into which the Colorado River disappeared.
God put us on the earth not to ignore it because we spend too much time watching TV. There are things to be seen in Nature, in reality, that elevate the mind to higher and nobler perceptions, that enrich our lives with happier emotions that motivate us to a purer existence, an existence less cluttered with the ugly vanities of man’s artificial world that make us forget who blesses from above.
If you aren’t moved by the Grand Canyon, by its size and scale, by the rock strata and the colors that radiate throughout the day, and by the wonder of how this all came to be, check your pulse. Seriously. There is a reason why this is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It may be the most wondrous (though I’ve not seen Mt. Everest).
So find out for yourself! Go to Grand Canyon! It is something God put on the Earth to instill a wonderment that, I believe, turns our thoughts and minds back to him. The rocks do cry out! Luke 19:40 is right.
But if you still don’t care, at least turn off your TV. It’s better to just stare at the walls. Yet again, this too is not exaggeration.