GameBoy at the Grand Canyon

Published 7:43 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Our family crossed out another item on our bucket list. We finally made it to the Grand Canyon last week. 

My macho brother, who has always pushed me to do physical feats beyond my comfort zone, compelled me to do a hike to the bottom of the canyon to the beach of the Colorado River. Standing at the top of the outer rim of the canyon is spectacular enough.

It takes eight miles to go down the Bright Angel Trail to the river. So with the high for the day forecasted to be more than 100 degrees, we plunged down the trail by the moonlight starting at 4 a.m..  By 7 a.m. we had reached the river and ate lunch (I know, 7 a.m. lunch!). 

By noon we conquered the uphill battle back to the top before the hazardous heat reached its peak. We hiked 16 miles! But it was not the length that motivated us; it was the beauty of the cascading rocks. There was much more than the physical hike that took my breath away.

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman called “See the Glory” where he brilliantly pens these words in the chorus:

“Sometimes it’s like I’m playing GameBoy standing in the middle of the Grand Canyon,

I’m eating candy sitting at a gourmet feast,

I’m wading in a puddle when I could be swimming in the ocean,

Tell me what’s the deal with me.

Wake up and see the Glory.”

That song kept coming to my mind as I was planning this trip. I used to own a GameBoy. Actually, I still own that GameBoy. 

I even brought it to the Grand Canyon and took a picture at the top reenacting the chorus of this song. But now I experientially understand this song. How could you be at the edge of the Grand Canyon and be staring at your GameBoy?

Let’s update the lyrics a bit. How could you be at the edge of the Grand Canyon and be on your phone playing Pokemon Go the entire time? And yet so many are thrilled with the trite and unimpressed with the glorious. 

Is this true in our spiritual journey? Do we need to wake from our stupor and see the glory? Does the Gospel bore us? 

Many are impressed by 11 men running around in spandex chasing a pigskin, yet unimpressed with Jesus. Many are emboldened by the challenge to conquer the Pokemon universe, yet disinterested in the Creator of the universe. 

Are you energized by the likes you received to your latest selfie on Facebook, but laissez-faire to the love God has demonstrated toward you in Jesus? None of these things are evil. But it is spiritual malpractice to treat the common as glorious and the glorious as common. 

But come on — how can God be more majestic than GameBoy? This is the God who created the Grand Canyon. This is the God who took on human flesh and never sinned.

May we all take the journey into the canyons of his glory and arrive at the river of living water for our souls. 

Matthew Homan is the pastor of Eureka Baptist Church. He can be reached at