Ever since I was a child and I first saw images of The Grand Canyon, it has been a dream of mine to go there and see it one day. I am thrilled to say that last week that dream became reality! My husband, two of my daughters and I went to the West Rim, which is, to quote the website; *“Grand Canyon West is a tribal enterprise of the sovereign Indian Nation of the Hualapai Tribe.” We took the shuttle bus from the main building from which you can only see flat desert, but as we rode on that shuttle bus, it went around one curve and suddenly, there it was! My first view of the Grand Canyon and it was breathtaking! Literally! I was in a seat that faced the aisle where my daughter sat across from me. We had been chatting, but I stopped mid-sentence. The gasp I’m sure I made, had her and others on the bus turning in their seats to see what had caused me to react in such a way. It was impressive to say the least and stirred up excitement in us all to see more. Soon, the bus stopped and we all eagerly hopped off and made our way to the scenic viewpoint in an attempt to take in the majesty that is the Grand Canyon. As we drew nearer to the edge (but not too close! That’s a long way down!), all I could say was, “Oh, wow! Oh wow! Oh wow!” Over and over again as my mind tried to comprehend what my eyes were seeing. Honestly though, it couldn’t. I don’t think my mind has yet to grasp the wonder of it.
cannot comprehend it
I’ve heard people who have seen the Grand Canyon or other spectacular sights say things like, “Pictures don’t do it justice,” and now I know it’s true. Why? Because I saw with my own eyes. And even though my eyes beheld it, I’m not even sure that was doing it justice! The majesty of the Grand Canyon is that it commands respect. Respect by staying away from the edge because if you fall, you will surely not survive. The most accurate definition of majestic I found was in the Cambridge dictionary as this: *“having the quality of causing you to feel great admiration and respect for it because of its size, power, or beauty”. And boy did it! Because we stayed there for hours just looking at it, never growing tired of staring at it, trying to but not fully able to take it all in! Somehow, you just can’t. We were awestruck with admiration. We knew what we were looking at was huge, gigantic, GRAND, but when we saw a helicopter fly through, my daughter then said, “Oh wow. I didn’t realize how big it really was until seeing that [helicopter].” It looked like a walnut next to the walls of the canyon. Mind-blowing!
Something as majestic as the Grand Canyon, seeing it first-hand, it’s beauty and wonder, put me in my place. I don’t know about you, but I can get zoned into a small world that actually causes it to seem larger than it truly is. By that I mean, life is all about my family, my routine, my errands, my blog, my schedule, my goals, etc. But, when in the presence of the majestic, it has the potential to shift one’s perspective of self, rightly setting me in my place. It reminds me of the Biblical story of Moses when he encountered God. As majestic as the Grand Canyon is, I imagine it does not even begin to compare to God’s majesty! We read in Exodus 3:3-6 about Moses’ first meeting with God who appeared as fire in the burning bush yet the bush was not consumed by the fire; “When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ And Moses said, ‘Here I am.’ ‘Do not come any closer,’ God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ Then he said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.”(NIV) As magnificent as the Grand Canyon was, I didn’t feel compelled to hide my face from it. Yet Moses did hide his when he first encountered God in the burning bush! That is how holy, how majestic God is! And surely Moses’ perspective of himself shifted when he was in the presence of the Majestic just as mine did at the canyon. Conclusively, being in God’s majestic, holy presence would most certainly warrant a reaction like Moses’.
The wonder of it
As we sat on a rock, far enough away from the edge, overlooking the vastness of the canyon, I attempted to take it all in. To hold onto the moment. To burn it in my memory. The awesomeness of it. The enormity of it. The wonder of it. But it was impossible to. Because reality is, what we were seeing was only a small (I can’t believe I am even using that word to describe the canyon!) portion of it! At 277 miles long, the area of the Grand Canyon West covers only 17.6 miles of that! And it was so majestic, I cannot even begin to speculate what it would be like to see the entire 277 miles! Which causes me to ponder; in the presence of a Majestic God, have I only been seeing 17.6 miles of his wonder when there are 277 miles of it (as by way of example)? Could we ever even comprehend his wonder? His holiness? His magnificence? It was hard to leave the canyon honestly. I wanted to stay and just sit in the presence of the majestic. Could I walk away from it without being affected? Without a shift in perspective? No! And so it is with God! Can we be in his presence and go unchanged? Can we see his majesty and walk away untouched by what we’ve encountered? As it was for me at the canyon, and as it is with God, there comes an awareness from being in the presence of the majestic that it is undoubtedly a moment to treasure!
All photos taken by me.