For a long time, I said to my family that I would like to go to Alaska and stand on a glacier. It was a dream that I thought would never take place because over the years raising six boys consumed our finances and time.
But, those same boys made my dream come true. At Christmas time, Terry and I were informed that they had gone in together to buy us a cruise package to Alaska. The only thing was that we had to get ourselves to Seattle, Washington, to board the ship, then travel back to Mason.
Terry, from the get-go, started talking about flying to Seattle to hook up with the Emerald Princess, the cruise line on which the boys booked us. Her reasoning was that she thought we could not spend days traveling cross-country in the same vehicle without bickering about my driving speed, my sometimes tail-gating, and my occasional potential for complaining about how other people drive. Added to that was the consideration from the old saying about learning much about a person when you spend a couple of hours alone with them in a car, she said.
On the other hand, I saw an opportunity to get to see certain parts of our country up close and first hand. I told her she could fly if she wanted to, but I was going to drive it. I had never been farther west than Oklahoma, and it was compelling to consider the opportunity of going beyond. But, she eventually ceded the point and started getting excited about the drive, too.
Our oldest son, Ron, and his family, booked the cruise with us. They decided to drive northern cross-country routes to Seattle. Terry and I planned to travel southern routes because we first of all wanted to see the Grand Canyon.
On our fourth day of travel, we reached the village, Tusayan, located just outside the confines of the Grand Canyon National Park. Shortly after checking into our motel we made our way to see the sight.
When I started seeing the intense magnitude of the Canyon, all I could do was to pray, “Praise you, God! Praise you!” It was a blessed sight. God surely must have taken His finger and dug out this magnificent ditch, which is 278 miles long, 18 miles wide at points, and a mile deep. It does not matter to me when He did it. It does not matter to me how He did it.
The reason I take such a position is because I have a Bible-based world-view about the creativity of the Lord. The Writer of Hebrews explains it simply to me when he wrote, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
So, when I peered down at the bottom of the Canyon and saw the Colorado River flowing forcibly amid the rock walls, I did not have to believe that the Canyon of that magnitude was blasted away by that river five to six million years ago, as it is asserted. That would involve things that are seen. Such humanized speculations detract from the more important qualification of spiritual truth
But, all I need to understand is that that great Canyon is there by “Word of God.” If I take that tact, then God gets the glory for His creativity. I can honestly sing, “God, how great thou art!” God wants to be praised for the great works He has done, and He deserves it. The Psalmist wrote, “Great is the Lord, and of great power. His understanding is infinite.”
Undoubtedly, there is the element of mystery as it involves much of the created things of God. Many things are not understood. But, satisfaction in the human soul does not come from knowing the whys and wherefores. The true satisfaction comes from having the faith in the great One who did it.
In the mean time, getting back to that notion of spending two hours in a car with someone — I didn’t learn anything new about her, for sure.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.