[Originally published as It’s About People]
So really, it’s about God and our trust in Him and His Word. Upon that foundation, God builds a community of believers called to love and serve one another and bear each other’s burdens.
Day upon day is deluged with details, responsibilities, questions, and concerns. Our attention must be given to these as we love the Lord with all our heart and all our mind.
First Peter 3:15 makes it quite clear that we are to be prepared to give a reason for our hope. To be prepared means we must understand the issues of our day and have adequate responses that affirm God’s Word and provide hope. This cannot be accomplished apart from diligent study and care given to the details of God’s Word and of the life around us. When this thought is coupled with Romans 12:2, we further bear witness to the necessity of engaging our mind in our pursuit of God and functioning as His ambassador.
Let me highlight the end of 1 Peter 3:15 within its context.
We are to present our reason for hope with “gentleness and respect.” The final word here places the emphasis, not on the information but upon the person (people) to whom we are speaking. It’s about the people.
This past river trip was a great reminder that while what we do includes a great deal of information it is really about the people.
We are not speaking into the wind simply to hear our own voice resonate off the canyon walls. There are people at the other end of our communication. The people that choose to grant their attention do so with the anticipation that it will be of benefit to them. But it can only benefit them if it connects with them where they are. This includes the words we choose, the tones we use, and the body language we present. We can have the greatest reason for hope ever crafted, but if we have built walls by our attitude or actions, then it will never be heard.
Dr. Snelling and I had established a pre-trip plan for our teaching and stops along the way. However, as I often say in the canyon, “Our plans are firmly chiseled into jello.” Each day is a series of adjustments and tweaks based on group dynamics, weather, fatigue, and so on.
The day we had planned to stop at a Blacktail Canyon was one of those days. The plan was to camp at Blacktail that evening to provide adequate time for geology and Scripture within its walls.
Numerous details caused us to abandon our plan, including making a change from Dr. Snelling doing the speaking to me doing the speaking. As I wrapped things up, I invited the group to walk quietly to the end of the canyon and back out (a common Blacktail activity). Numerous people responded emotionally to the encouragement given and later shared that moment as a significant point in the trip. All this, from a moment that we had not planned; but God had.
When you join us for a river trip or rim tour, you will be encouraged by the testimony the geology of the Grand Canyon proclaims affirming God’s Word. But, most of all, you will be served as a uniquely crafted individual who reflects the divine nature of God.
It’s about people!