A year and a half ago, my wife, Tyler, and I went to the Grand Canyon. We had a delayed flight that had us driving into our hotel around 5 in the morning. The next day we drove to the lookout at Grand Canyon National Park. The view we experienced next was truly awe inspiring. The depth of the Canyon, the view of the Colorado River, the 60 miles of raw earth in plain view was breathtaking. We sat and stared for several hours, walking to a new vantage point on the rim in the National Park, staring, and walking. We joined hundreds or thousands of rim-walkers in our views.
Our second day at the Grand Canyon was a step toward adventurous. We found a trail that went several miles into the Canyon with several offshoots and decided to hike. We figured that you can only do so much walking and staring. We wanted to experience the full effect of the Grand Canyon.
Let me pause at this point to tell you that my wife and I are marginal adventure takers. The trail drops 2000 feet in the first 2.5 miles. We descended into the canyon with relative ease, traversing the switchbacks with no issue. This was by far the most rewarding experience at the Grand Canyon for us. Every pathway led to a new view inside of the Grand Canyon! One of us remarked that those rim-walkers missed so much and exclaimed that more people should take these hikes!
On our ascent, we were passed by two intense hikers. They had those backpacks. The ones that upon sporting, immediately make you look more full of adventure. On their packs were tents, sleeping bags, a skillet, everything one would need for a real hike. As we passed we talked with the hikers and they mentioned that they woke up that morning on the bank of the Colorado River... Our “thrill-seeking” bravado was instantly crushed. They claimed that the view from the inside was more satisfying and beautiful than any rim-walking view.
Isn’t this true of Christianity? The view, the experience, the draw of looking from the rim is attainable. Safe. A good place to start. Christians that never move from looking to mission of God are often left bored. Unfulfilled by their life in Christ. That’s because we have become satisfied with the view. Satisfied with an occasional glance into what once captured our hearts. Satisfied with our current involvement when God meant for us to journey into the heart of His plan: to tell the world who He is. All Christians are called to not only come and experience for themselves but to then become involved in the mission. To go to all the world and exclaim what God has done.
This is the hike.
This is the full enjoyment of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 discusses “when the Holy Spirit will come upon you,” with an expectation that you are sharing in your neighborhood, city, county, state, nation, and world. There is much joy to be found in our good, good God. By hiking into His mission, we accept that it is much more difficult than walking the rim. The chances of pain are higher. But we are readying to see how an all-powerful, great God will provide, lead, and work.