Holism in the Grand Canyon (Part 1)

This weekend I am hiking the Grand Canyon.

South Rim to North Rim.

24 miles.

In one day.

Why?! I’m glad you asked!

Several months ago, my wife told me about a group of women who were planning to hike the Grand Canyon, rim-to-rim, in one day. She mentioned that she was intrigued by this challenge and wanted to consider doing it. Being the supportive husband I am, my response was, “Sure babe, go for it!”

About a week later, my wife called me and said that we needed to make a final decision about whether we wanted to sign up for the hike within the next 24 hours. “Wait…we?!”

“Well… I was wondering if you would want to do this with me?” she asked. I could hear the batting of her eyelashes through the phone.

All the reasons of inconvenience flooded my brain at once. A big football game I didn’t want to miss. A entire weekend away after a busy month of travel. A severe lack of testosterone on the hiking group’s roster…. you get the point. Shaking off those thoughts, I asked her why she wanted to take on this challenge.

“I’ve never done anything like this. And I really want to put myself in a position where, physically and spiritually, I have to rely on others and God for my well-being and motivation.”

Her response has increasingly become a source of support and inspiration for me during my own training. The group we are hiking with is a ministry called RevelationWellness. Their mission is to bring people to an understanding that when you are physically health, you have a chance to be more spiritually healthy. And when we are spiritually healthy, we should have a desire to become more physically healthy. That all of life is HOLISTIC. And what better way to put this philosophy into action than by challenging people to perform a feat they never thought they could do.

I’m not hiking the Grand Canyon for myself. I’m not even just doing it for my wife, as was my original intent admittedly. Through the course of our training and preparation over the past three months, I’ve come to a place where I earnestly want to do this hike as an act of worship. That my physical endurance and emotional perseverance will be a submission to the greatness and everlasting provision of a God that created something as awesome and powerful as the Grand Canyon. And that I’ll be put in a situation where the community around me, and God himself, will be a holistic source of energy to get me through the experience.

I’ll reflect on this more when I return in a follow-up blog post. But as I prepare for this adventure, allow me to conclude with this thought: I believe that a holistically healthy life is best expressed in acts of compassion. This is probably not a novel idea, but one that we should at least contemplate.

Catch ya’ on the North Side.