Only 5 percent of 5 million tourists that annually visit the Grand Canyon venture beyond the rim. They do not mount a donkey or hike a trail to explore the rugged and interesting world below. Some tourists are like drive-by-shooters; snapping shots with their camera, but not engaging in the world they are viewing through the lens. Like these tourists, sometimes I find myself skimming through life without fully engaging in it. Then, I’m living at the surface and avoiding the depth in my own soul and in the soul of others. However, life is too precious to miss by passing through it, as a casual observer.
Thoreau, in pursuit of life, built a small cabin on borrowed land near Walden pond. He writes,
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life…… Henry David Thoreau.
Moving beyond the rim requires leaving the comfort of the crowd above to face our inner fears and the vast world below. It is the inward journey that leads to God. Living life fully engaged we wake up, take notice, simplify and “put to rout all that is not life.” We discover stillness and an awareness of God, who is life eternal. We find a path that is good and a place that is restful for our souls.
This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the cross-roads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
In this pursuit we will also discover delight. This is the ability of childlike wonder that marvels at all life’s many colors and shapes. In this same way, we delight in the Lord who made our varied and vast world and whose character is like the world he made.
Peter in the Bible speaks of “rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory!” and David says, “I would go unto God, unto God my exceeding joy!”
There is really nothing ordinary about the life of a believer in the divine, — once they have decided to go beyond the rim.