Come and See

Last week, I went to the Grand Canyon for the first time. I can’t figure out why no one ever talks about it. It’s enormous. And actually very cool.

As we drove into the park, my sister pointed out that if you didn’t know what was coming, you could easy go right by it and never know it was there. Her comment reminded me of a post I wrote about color last year. There’s just a lot out there that we don’t know about, and it’s a little exciting to think of what else there is to discover along the way. If only we would choose to look for it.

While it’s unlikely that someone will discover the next, grander, canyon while walking in the woods near their suburban home, like color, there’s a lot of minutiae left to explore. Thank God we live in the age of TED talks so I can learn about it all on road trips instead of having to do the scientific research myself (after all, who has the time?).

It’s been about a week since this visit to the GC, but I keep thinking about the wooded paths that parallel the canyon rim. They are safe and well established. Hundreds of people would have walked along them to carve them into the ground and create that defined way for me to follow. They’ve given it their stamp of approval, so I know it’s safe and will get me to where I need to go. Likewise, if I went through life unable to recognize blue as a distinct color from green, it would be OK. I would still get to where I needed to go. But neither way provides the complete picture.

I decided to start seminary the hard way and am taking a class on Sabbath during this first term. I’m having to face the reality that I can’t do everything and practice Sabbath. (Some would even say I can’t do everything, period.) Some things must be left unfinished in order to pause for a day. The good news is I’m learning that my ability to complete a to-do list is not what makes God love me. God loves me because God created me and I’m enveloped in that totally irrational parental love for one’s child.

If I stay on the safe, well-established path for the rest of my life, God will still love me like crazy. But if I veer off the path, it opens up the possibility of discovering something very different. I would have new eyes for the world, and a bigger understanding of who this God is that created both the forest and the canyon.

My sister imagined pioneers making their way west and stopping to camp for the night. One person wanders off to scout the area and comes running back, shouting: “GUYS. Come and see! You’re never going to believe this.”

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