Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

The Grand Canyon and God’s Beauty

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord…” (Psalm 27:4)

I don’t know when I first learned about the Grand Canyon. It must have been when I was young. It appears in children’s books and cartoons. It shows up in trivia questions on paper menus in restaurants. We, human beings, are obsessed with this marvel. It is a part of our culture. None of us can probably recall the first time we learned of this majestic place because we find mention of it everywhere.

Like everyone else, I grew up learning about the Grand Canyon. I learned about the geography, geology, and history of this place. I have seen more pictures of it than I can count. I know it when I see it. I recognize it from the many times I have seen it in textbooks, travel books, and social media. A person can go anywhere in America, perhaps the world, and start a conversation about the Grand Canyon, and people will know what you are talking about and join in.

Before I ever saw the Grand Canyon, I knew a lot about it. I had studied it in school, seen documentaries on it, and memorized facts about it. My head was full of information on the Grand Canyon. I also knew what it looked like from the many images I had seen of it over the years.

Wasn’t this enough?

No, because when I first saw it with my own eyes, all of that other stuff didn’t matter. I forgot all the facts. The many images I had seen over the years were now meaningless. I was in the presence of beauty. All I could do was stand there and take it in, and it was magnificent. It is indescribable. It doesn’t matter how many facts you learn and pictures you see. It is something that must be experienced.

Something similar happens with God and us. We grow up going to Sunday school. We read our Bibles and attend worship. We have a pretty good idea of who God is and what he looks like. We do our best to follow him, but one day, we will be in his presence. When we are standing before God, all the rest of the stuff we thought mattered won’t matter anymore. Our paltry attempts at Biblical interpretation and theology will seem insignificant in God’s presence. Our thoughts on this issue or that issue will disappear, and all we will know is God.

What an incredible day that will be!

We need to remember this. It doesn’t mean theology, Biblical interpretation, or thoughts on issues are unimportant, not at all. It means we know our place. We are not God, but one day we will be in his presence. The beauty of God will overwhelm any other thoughts inside of us. We long for this day. Until then, may we be humble in our pursuit of knowledge and our disagreements with others. May we seek to catch glimpses of God’s beauty here on earth and meditate on the majesty we will one day behold.

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