Monday, March 21, 2011

Love is Vast

Day 1: A calm, unblemished blue sky hung over us as we departed Phoenix up the inclined road of the I-17 toward Flagstaff. Seven men who came to be nicknamed Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippen, Gandalf, Legolas, and Gollum, crammed into a rustic gold, seven-seater minivan. What began as a distant idea was quickly taking form. 5 days of the open road lay ahead of them, traversing the national parks of southern Utah and Northern Arizona. What stories lay ahead of them they could only imagine. What vast lessons they would learn along the way could only be discovered.

Sometimes it’s easy to feel alone. Even when you are surrounded by 6 other people in a small van, it’s very easy to feel left out. This usually happens when my view of myself becomes much smaller than it should be. I begin to compare myself to others rather than to God and I always feel inadequate or out of place. Other times, I view myself to highly and feel better than the rest. When this happens it’s very important to get away, get back into the word and remember whom I should be comparing myself to, and whose eyes I should be viewing myself through.

We were there. Every step closer revealed an ever-growing gape in the earth’s crust. An ever-widening gap for which there is no bridge to cross. Words can’t really describe how vast that canyon is. I tried to visualize what a normal cliff would be like standing by itself and then placed that cliff into what I was seeing. There were 5 such cliffs layered into the canyon, each one more impressive then the one below it. Standing on the edge of a sheer rock face, I began feeling like a miniscule little ant compared to the immensity of what I was seeing. I can only imagine what an astronaut or the astronomers of Hubble must feel when they see the planet in it’s entirety, or zoom into a seemingly black spot in space and reveal thousands of galaxies. We are so tiny.

The Grand Canyon kind of reminds me of my inadequacy to Christ (except more impossible to traverse). I have built a chasm. On one side stands me, on the other stands God, in between, a vast canyon separating me from Him. There is no possible thing I can do to get to the other side. A hardened rock formation of bitterness, jealousy and loneliness makes up my cliff walls. Even on the car ride up, I could pinpoint various times I felt such emotions. I am the master canyon builder. But the Master Engineer stepped in and built a bridge across my crafted canyon in the form of His son on the cross. It reminds you exactly how vast God’s love really is, and how much our love falls incredibly short. Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, while we were yet in the process of widening and deepening our canyon. And that is freeing! It frees me from guilt and self-righteousness, from expecting others to be perfect. I can step back see the bridge He built across my canyon, and then look and see the many other bridges He has built for those around me.

Gandalf drove us back to Flagstaff that night with Pippen as his co-pilot. 4 more days of the driving still loomed over the trip. It had only been 12 hours. Tomorrow, the journey would take them into the state of Utah, into many more evidences of the type of love God has for us. Into day 2


  1. Great post. Seriously man, thanks for sharing.

  2. This is beautiful, Scottie! You inspire me, friend :)

    Although, I must say, I cannot believe you left out one of the most important members of the Fellowship (Aragorn!?!) in lieu of Gollum. Tsk tsk.

  3. God was Aragorn. He was our guide, our defender, our king. None of us figured we could take that role.