Missing The Grand Canyon
The entrance of Your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
I opened my mouth and panted,
for I longed for Your commandments.
As the deer pants for the water brooks,
so pants my soul for You,
O God. My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You;
†my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
Your word have I hidden in my heart,
that I might not sin against You.
Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.
Several years ago, on our annual Mother-Daughter Retreat, we decided it would be
fun to drive to the Grand Canyon. Rising early in the morning, we packed the car
with maps, water, jackets, & snacks. After strapping ourselves and 7 month old
baby Christian in, we took off for an exciting adventure. The first mistake we made,
however, was asking for directions from two different people, and neglecting to
check the map. Happily chatting away, we drove for many miles before I started
getting a niggling feeling that something was not quite right. It seemed that we
should have reached the Grand Canyon some time ago Ė and now all we could see
in any direction was dessert and scrub, and not a single sign of civilization Ė not a
single place to stop to ask directions. Finally, we saw a little shack with an Indian
woman selling silver jewelry beside the dusty road. ďDo you know where the South
Rim of the Grand Canyon is?Ē I asked.
Her reply was a blank look! I asked about the Colorado River, and she said there
was a river with a bridge just up ahead. With relief, we got back on the road. Sure
enough, there was a bridge Ė over a trickle of water! I knew we were in serious
trouble when a sign for the Cliff Dwellers appeared, but at least there was a gas
station nearby. I bet the attendant is still laughing at the bedraggled young women
who asked the location of the South Rim, and were told they missed the turn. By
130 miles!!! The North Rim was still 80 miles ahead! We were literally in the middle
of nowhere, with no option except to turn around and go back the way we had
come. By then, we had all used up our happy attitudes, especially the screaming
baby in the back seat.
When we were speaking to one another again, we decided to see what spiritual
lessons we could glean from our experience. All our frustration could have been
avoided if we had done one thing: consult the road map! If we had taken the time
to study the map before we ever left the hotel, we would have known the correct
route to take, and to be on the look-out for the sign telling us where to turn off the
highway. Instead, we decided to do it our own way, relying on faulty advice from
others, and deciding to look at