The summer of 1960, when I was 15 years old, my aunt and uncle included me with their 3 kids (later they added another child) on a trip across the southwestern United States, which included the Grand Canyon. I remember being awed by its beauty as well as its sheer width and depth. The Colorado River looked no bigger than a skinny creek back home from the outlook where we were observing. At 15 I had my life ahead of me. I doubt I ever considered that time might carry me along or horror of horrors might end too soon. I pretty much assumed that one day I would return, but 55 years later I have not.
Today, my grandchildren, Graham and Abigail with their parents will visit the Grand Canyon for the second time. For Abigail’s friend, Karen, who is vacationing with them, today will be the first time she will glimpse this magnificent part of creation. I have asked Abigail to take pictures and she has assured me she will, but no picture could measure up to the BEING THERE!
If I had known that at 70 years old, I would never have returned…never experienced the new viewing platforms, never watched the rain sweep across the far side, while standing in the sunshine–perhaps I would have appreciated the experience even more than I did. Perhaps I would have held my memories a little closer. I might have taken more pictures, although my little instamatic would not have captured it.
On the Today Show this morning they talked about an intentional act that could help up the Happiness Quotient in people. They assigned folks to live a month whereever they were as if it were the last month they would ever live in that place. The results were amazing, some people sought to do things available in that area that they had never done before, others spent more time with the people ‘they would be leaving behind’, relationships, experiences, and awareness grew….and so did their happiness perception.
So I texted my granddaughter Abigail, who sometimes has difficulty sorting through her moods for the sunny side up version of herself…sometimes I do, too.
I am really looking forward to her pictures. I don’t expect professional photography or even the sense of being there myself. I want to see what her eye saw; I want to see if I can vicariously see her mood for the day. Most of all even if she sends no photographs, I want her to EXPERIENCE the SCARCITY of TIME as she takes it in. I want her to appreciate the privilege her parents have given her, especially her Dad, in planning vacations that have taken them across the USA. I want her to consider if only for a moment that she will never have these moments again even if she returns to the Grand Canyon.
My devotional this morning from “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young contained this
When your joy in Me meets My joy in you, there are fireworks of heavenly ecstasy. This is eternal life here and now: a tiny foretaste of what awaits you in the life to come.
Everyday that I am still living when I truly EXPERIENCE the day, laughing, loving, digging in the dirt, chatting with friends in whatever manner is available, dancing, writing, drawing, looking for the things that are praiseworthy, on those days I am closer to seeing the fireworks of heaven. AND I AM HAPPIER.
For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12 NET)