Thoughts of...The Grand Canyon
Several days ago, my wife, our three youngest children, and I returned to Arizona along with five others in our young fellowship from Calvary Chapel Ahwatukee’s first international mission trip. We spent an amazing week in Kino, Sonora, Mexico, and the surrounding villages. We helped with a church construction project and we took to the streets to pray for people and to share the hope we have in Jesus Christ. And the Lord changed OUR hearts forever.
The northern border of our state is marked by an awesome natural wonder called the Grand Canyon. The southern border is also marked by a grand canyon, this one a humbling supernatural wonder. We boast of the wonder of the northern border, but we are shamefully silent or ignorant about the wonder of the southern border.
Our week in Kino revealed a grand canyon between
• what we have and what we need
• what we think we need and what we really need
The chasm between what we Americans have and how content we are with what we have, compared to what our Mexican brethren have and how content they are with what they have, is every bit as breath taking as the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon in the north is overwhelming in its beauty and majesty. The grand canyon in the south is overwhelming in its ugliness and ignominy.
The people of Kino, Calle Doce, Plan de Ayala, and Avila Comacho have next to nothing in terms of worldly wealth but are abundantly rich in contentment and joy. The people in Ahwatukee, Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa, and Queen Creek have so very much worldly wealth but are so very discontent and anxious. The contrast is humbling and heart-breaking. Who is rich and who is poor?
We have been so blessed by the Lord yet are so unthankful. Have you ever given someone a gift and they either turned their nose up at it or they complained about it? Or perhaps they didn’t even bother to say, “Thank you”? Remember how you felt? Ingratitude is one of the ugliest of human characteristics.
Just imagine how our ingratitude grieves the Lord. When did you last express genuine, heartfelt thanks to our Provider for your bed? A hot shower? A big, fluffy towel? The carpeting, tiling, or wood covering on your floors? The ice in your beverage? Plumbing? Reliable transportation?
I saw a Tee shirt on a brother from Crossroads Community Church last week that spoke volumes to my heart. It proclaimed two truths: “The best things in life are not things” and “There are two ways to be rich – make more or desire less.”
The experience last week has taken me to the firm belief that such a missionary trip is a foundational experience for every believer. Everyone in our fellowship would have a deeper, more meaningful, and more consistent walk with the Lord as a result of participating in a mission trip to Kino. My desire for every person in our fellowship, that they grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18), would get an incredible boost by that investment.
Does that thought make your spirit leap and your heart race? Praise the Lord! Your life will never be the same.
Does such a thought make you uncomfortable? Perfect! We grow when we allow the Lord to stretch us. He calls us out of our comfort zones to a place where we must depend entirely upon Him. In that place, He blesses us and others through us.
Do you react with, “Oh I am not able to bear it,”? Perfect! The Lord is more than able to bear it for you.