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  • Mark Wm Smith

The Amateur Sleuth’s Grand Plan

First published June 5, 2018

The Grand Canyon. The first time I saw this natural wonder, I found it hard to believe. My first thought was, This is a painting.

Our minds struggle to process a phenomenon so vast. Up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep, the Grand Canyon challenges reality. We cannot touch more than a fraction of it at a given time. Four and a half million people arrive to stand at the edge of its majesty each year. A few climb down inside and cross the Colorado River to ascend the opposite rim. Twelve come to die.

The few who descend have a better feel for the bigness of the canyon than most of us. Those who fail to return alive might know most of all.

Ironically, size matters more for those who stand on the edge, than for those who enter in.

It leaves me thinking, what’s the point? Why a Grand Canyon? Is this magnificent view for perspective? Do the sheer sides exist to challenge the fortitude of the hiker? Is it the longest and widest unfilled grave for the careless, foolish and despairing?

Its mystery transcends human deduction. Glacial cut in solid rock revealing a million years of erosive power? Or the recession of floodwaters that covered the earth’s surface in a fraction of that time? Leftovers of evolution’s geographical mutation? Or Divine reminder of man’s depraved nature?

It’s a question worth pondering.

Neither answer solves the riddle of our existence. On the edge or in the water, we are nothing by comparison. Human fodder. Detectives uncovering clues to an absurd crime.

Evolutionist and Creationist can argue the answers, never coming to a common conclusion. The amateur sleuth knows it’s a worldview issue. Where I start is where I end.

But a life worth living suggests a choice. Stand on the edge and look at Majesty. Or enter into it.

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