The Skywalk, Mud & Stars, and Peter

LESS THAN A HALF DAY’S DRIVE from where I temporarily hang my hat, earlier this year a new tourist attraction opened at the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Located on Hualapai Indian land, the Grand Canyon Skywalk is a horseshoe-shaped, heavily reinforced, glass-bottomed walkway extending 70 feet over the canyon edge, affording a view 4,000 feet down to the Colorado River.

Here are some still views—and a three-minute video (more after the jump):

Artist’s pre-construction conceptual view.

Above: Artist’s pre-construction conceptual view.


Above: Photo of visitors, wearing yellow surgical booties on the glass walkway, from below the Skywalk.

I think my favorite part of the video is the
Hualapai chief at the end.


Now, even though I’m relatively near to the Skywalk, if the final 14 miles of unpaved road to get there didn’t cool my enthusiasm about visiting it, I’m sure the $75 per person fee and the prohibition against cameras definitely would. But then, I’m such a killjoy that I don’t even like paying for amusement park rides to give myself the willies. I can scare the bejabbers out of myself for free just looking in the mirror right after I get up in the morning.

So what’s my point here?
Where you look makes all the difference.

I could go to the Skywalk, look 4,000 feet straight down, and “enjoy” the queasy vertigo and mild acrophobia—or I could stretch out on my back on a blanket in the nearby desert at night and look straight up 4,000 light years and be awe-inspired by the canopy of the night sky shimmering with the light of countless billions of stars.

Which reminds me of the old couplet:

“Two men look through the same prison bars—
One sees mud; the other sees stars.”

Where you look makes all the difference.

Ask Peter out there walking on the water. He looked back at his friends in the boat. He looked at the huge waves around him. Where he did not look was at Jesus. And Peter began to sink like a rock.

I’ve had the same problem at times. Instead of looking to Jesus, I’ve looked at the waves of trouble. Instead of looking toward solutions, I’ve focused on the problem. And when that happens, I too begin to sink like a rock into a black hole of discouragement and hopelessness.

Where you look makes all the difference.

And the incredible thing is, you have within you the almighty, sovereign power of choice to decide where you look. So do I.

We can choose to throw ourselves pity parties and wail and “awful-ize” and play the victim role to the hilt. Or we can look up. We can focus on Jesus…on solutions….on the good things in our lives….on our blessings….and refuse to let the troubles and negativity in this world pull us down.

Yes, there’s plenty of ugly, negative stuff in this world—and it invades our lives every single day. We can’t avoid trouble and pain and stress and loss. But we can choose how to respond to it. Will we focus on the thorns—or on the roses? Will we curse our bad luck—or find the blessing in it? And take it from someone who has now lived long enough to be sure of it: There is always, in the words of one of my favorite songs, a “Blessing in the Thorn.”

You see, where you look makes all the difference.


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