Saturday, 11 August 2012

Tuesday / Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon was the last National Park we visited. It was by far the busiest of all the National Parks we went to, and I'd imagine that part of this is today with just how very big it is. We only had half a day there, which is really only enough time to just barely scratch the surface of all there is to explore in the canyon. It was another extremely hot day, and going into the anyon below the rim would mean an increase in temperature by 11 degrees (C), which would have been about 50C. As time wasn;t on our side, we decided to walk for a couple of hours on the Kaibab trail that went just below the South rim.

We entered the park from the East stopped at the first view point called Watchtower before driving to the main visitor's centre.
The scale of the Grand Canyon was so vast and immense – again words fail me to begin to try and describe it. When writing about Bryce Canyon I mentioned how every guide book I’ve read about the great National Parks here have readily acknowledged the difficulty we have in describing their beauty in a way that is fitting. As I looked out at the Grand Canyon and tried to get a grasp on the scale of it all, I was reminded of the verse in the Bible Where Paul prays,

‘that you may have strength to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God.’ Ephesians 3 v 18 – 19

The Grand Canyon is vast and even when I stood there looking at it with my own eyes, I struggled to comprehend its actual size. All I knew from the information we’d read was that the distance from the North rim to the South rim is 10 miles. Aside from this, I couldn’t even begin to hazard a guess at the height, length and depth of each of the ridges of Canyon that I was looking at. It brought to light Paul’s prayer – that to know the breadth, length and height of the love of God requires strength because it is so very great.
Later on in the day as I was reflecting on the beauty I had seen in the Grand Canyon, a memory came to mind of a card my Dad sent me a good number of years ago. It had a beautiful watercolour painting on it of trees in Autumnal colours, along with the Bible verse, ‘the Earth is the Lord’s and all that dwells within it, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.  (Psalm 24 v 1)’ In the Bible, Jesus tells the Pharisees that even if we did not praise God, the very rocks he created would cry out in praise – because creation itself is a reflection of His great glory.
I thought back to how I, along with many, many other people have struggled to put into words the great natural beauty we see in the world, and how God’s creation evokes such awe in us that its beauty is beyond our words. And this is something that none of the guide books talk about. That the beauty and awesomeness of creation gives glory to God. I would love to have the words to share with you something of the natural wonders I have seen, so that you might also share in my joy and awe of creation. But I really don’t have the adjectives and superlatives to articulate what I have seen. All I can say is that the beauty I see in creation causes me to praise God for His great glory, and deeply marvel in the knowledge that while I am struggling to describe just a few places of great beauty, that are really very small places when you consider the size of the universe, God, in His greatness, knows every minute aspect of this wonderful world, and delights in the joy we find in His creation. 

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