My step-daughter and I are hiking into the canyon with 25 “friends” (they will be by the end!) from an organization called Revelation Wellness (Rev Well). We are starting on the North Rim, descending 5,700 feet to the bottom, walking across the floor and then hiking the 4,300 feet to the top. It is 24 miles total. And we are doing it in ONE DAY!
I am stoked! I am counting down the days, training on the hills here in Hawaii. I am raising support (you can give here) and telling people about this journey.
See, the surface goal is to do the Rim to Rim (as it’s called). It’s a bucket list item. It’s a personal challenge. I am in better shape at 34 then I was at 18, 24 or 30. I am pushing my body to do something that even two years ago would have bene impossible.
But I am also expecting to meet God in these walls. How anyone can look at this Canyon and not see a Creator is beyond me. How can you watch the colors dance under the sunset and not think Someone made it for His delight. I am going to meet my God.
See, I’ve come to realize I have a hard time with the emotional aspects of the Father. I have a hard time with the feeling of God. I know He is there. I know He is good, just, perfect, loving, and gracious. I know He has me. I am forgiven, redeemed, worthy, etc. But letting that sink into my heart – letting myself feel those things – well it’s a struggle.
Psalms 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
God is a source of joy for me. He is a beacon of hope in hopeless moments. He has held me through death and loss. The gifts that are in my life come out of the worse moments I’ve experienced. It’s all joy. Worship can be joyful for me. It’s freedom and grace and praise.
But God as delight? That is harder.
We are doing some Bible studies with Rev Well to prepare us for our time in the Canyon. There is as much to do mentally as there is physically. I’ve already been told I won’t leave the Canyon the same. And I’m ready. I am praying for God to make Himself real to me in a true way.
I am a rational person. All my personality tests: Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, 16 Personalities, etc. all point to be someone who relies on logic. I don’t make decisions by emotion. Don’t come at me with emotional reasoning. Give me a plan! Give me data. Be unbiased and remove how you feel. What is logical?
The relational side of God is not logical to me. Asking and expecting to hear His voice isn’t rational. Let me ask a question and then God can reveal it in the Scriptures. But to sit in quiet anticipating an answer, to delight, seek the Lord from my heart (vs. my head or soul) – those are not part of my programming. But they are part of God’s.
People can experience God in many ways. Through nature, music, prayer, quiet time, writing, meditation. There is not one way to experience God, just like there is not one way to worship or study His Word. But the Bible is covered with commands to love, seek, pursue, serve, remember, the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The Word says He will test us to see if we truly do these things. So I cannot leave out my heart.
In Hebrew culture, the heart was considered the center of a person. Yes, it is where the blood that fills our bodies cycles through. But emotionally it is the center too. It’s where we say God resides. It is what the mouth speaks from (see Luke 6:45). So it would be wrong to deny it or say it does not matter to me because I am logical. God made our entire body (He made the whole Body), so I can no more cut out my heart and emotion than I could cut off my right leg.
So what does this mean? I don’t know. It’s the sticky point in my journal, the raddling in my head. We were looking at motives this week and I have very little to report because I don’t know how to let God into what I pursue. How do I ask Him what He desires for me?
It’s a journey. And I don’t have answers – yet. But I know that if I carry these questions, with open hands and a willing spirit, into the Canyon that God will meet me and give me the answer I seek.
I invite you to join me in supporting this journey. Please pray for our group and our time in the Canyon. Pray for open hearts and a willingness to let God meet us as we need on our hike. But you can also give. Part of my going with Rev Well was an agreement to raise $1,500 for their ministry. Rev Well trains instructors to go out and spread the gospel through fitness. Many have started their own businesses, others are working in prisons, with broken populations, and overseas – helping people move and see their bodies as instruments of Christ. They also have a collection of workout videos online, helping people move right where they are with what they have!
You can give here: https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/amanda-lunday/Rim-to-Rim-2018 or send a check to: Revelation Wellness, PO BOX 45271 Phoenix, AZ 85064. Please make the check out to Revelation Wellness, write Rim to Rim and my name in the memo line. All donations are tax deductible.