My husband has always wanted to see the Grand Canyon but I was never interested. After all, it is just a big crack in a desert. You look at it, leave and check it off your bucket list. I just didn’t see the big deal.
We passed by the Canyon many times on the way back and forth from the west coast to the east coast to visit family. We even stayed in Arizona a couple of times with my husband’s sister. For 25 years we passed by that crack in the desert and though my husband always said he wanted to see it, I wasn’t interested, so we never stopped. But three years ago my son moved to Phoenix and as we were planning a trip to visit him my husband mentioned it again. Obviously it meant a lot to him and honestly I was tired of hearing about it. “Okay,” I said, “Let’s go see the Grand Canyon.”
We arrived just before sunset and my husband insisted we drive straight to the Canyon before checking into the hotel. I was a bit irritated with the delay after the long drive but the kids were excited about it and he really wanted to go so I put on my happy face and decided to make the best of it. My husband sprinted past me as we got out of the car and the kids followed right behind. “Honestly,” I thought, rolling my eyes at their excitement, “it’s just a crack in the desert.”
We walked along a treed path until we came to an opening with an overlook and there as the path widened I had my first look at the wonder of the Grand Canyon. A lump formed in my throat as I realized just how foolish and shortsighted I’d been. It was absolutely beautiful, beyond description. I was simply awestruck. As we walked back through the path I noticed a sign that said, “Sunrise 6:10.” I reached for my husband’s hand and motioned toward the sign. “I want to come back,” I said. He just smiled.
The next morning I was the one sprinting past my husband not wanting to miss a thing. I was insistent we arrive at 6:00am so I could capture every moment. It was a bit harder navigating the path in the dark but it was worth it. My husband and I sat arm in arm in anticipation of the first ray of sun over the horizon. My heart leaped as the dark sky flowed to pink and there before my eyes I saw the sun, in all its splendor, rise above the majestic grandeur of the Grand Canyon. Tears filled my eyes. I was absolutely speechless. How do you describe such a breathtaking scene in words?
An immense feeling of joy and profound gratitude welled up inside me. There before me, in that moment in time, I was witness to the majesty of God’s hand! I will never forget that moment. It changed me. As I stood watching that beautiful scene no problem seemed too big, no burden too heavy. I found myself counting every blessing I had and I wanted to be more and do more to show my gratitude for each one. Then a quote by Thomas Tapper came to my mind. There will now and again come to us a scene, a remembrance, so full of beauty and pleasure that we shall feel rich in the possession of it.
And in that moment, that is exactly how I felt.