Canyon Thoughts

Park rangers claim that the typical visitor to the Grand Canyon arrives on a tour bus, spends about twenty minutes at the rim, and then heads to the gift shop or restaurant.  Folks in a hurry are not easily impressed.

I find the place hard to resist, in part, because it puts life in perspective.  Standing on this perch during a recent visit, I recalled parts of a quote from Dr. R. Maurice Boyd.  He died in 2007 after serving a community of faith called City Church in New York City.  The church has since shut its doors, but I think about his words nearly every day.  Maybe you will too.

If what you are after is power, you had better forget about love; it is very difficult to be after both.  If you put self at the center, you had better be prepared to find your outer limits there, and that can be very lonely.  If you believe only in justice, and not in mercy, you’d better not make any mistakes.  If you are a gossip, don’t look for confidences.  If you believe life is a rat race, you mustn’t hope to find any dignity in it.  If your basic stance is confrontation, don’t expect people to knock on your door when what they need is tenderness.  If you are ruthless on the way up, you shouldn’t look for sympathy on the way down.  If you never forgive, you must never offend.  If what you are after is security, you better forget about ecstasy.  If your work is life, you had better keep one eye on your relationships.  If you are a materialist, don’t consult us gurus about spiritual values; there is little we have to say to you and even less that you will understand.  If you believe that life is purely quantitative, you had better keep your averages up.  If you spread yourself thin, you mustn’t expect to go deep.  And if you move in the fast lane, don’t set your heart on anything that takes time.  If you decide to live by the sword, then, by God, you had better carry one.  Because life is moral; things come round; we reap what we sow; the chickens come home to roost; fearful symmetry is the shape of life; and we really can’t have it all. 

[If you like this photograph, or any others that appear in previous blogs, I’ll mail to your home a 4″x6″ print in a white, 8″x10″ mat, ready for you to frame. $10. Send me a message on my CONTACT page or email me at]


This entry was posted in Nature and tagged .


  1. Michael Holton May 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    I am sure this should be on a poster. Why do we understand this better as we get older?

    Thank you for these thoughts. I look forward to your posts.

  2. aaron May 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    I agree. Your posts have a positive impact on my day and cause me to take a moment to think and consider and reflect.

  3. Bob Hubbard May 2, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Again, your posted pictures and words are engaging. The photo reminded me of my gut reaction when I approached the rim of the Grand Canyon. I’m very afraid of heights and was repulsed. And yet I was drawn to its beauty. Conflict? Maybe. Enchantment? Oh yes.

  4. Amy Harris May 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Thought provoking! This certainly says it all!

  5. Sue Robert May 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    Thank you for the very inspriring message and picture!!. Having spent a week white water rafting in the Grand Canyon and hiking I had many overwhelming moments of the nearness of God. You brought back precious feelings and memories.