Look Deeper

top of slot canyon 2Looks can be deceiving.  You’ve no doubt heard that before but it helps to be reminded of this truth from time to time.  I have had numerous occasions when my  first impression about someone or something proved to be totally wrong.  It happens to everyone, which is all the more reason to be more careful about rushing to judgment.

This point was pressed home to me when visiting the slot canyons in Arizona.  If you were to drive by this area you would not think that there was anything special there.  In fact, if you got out of your car and walked around the area where they exist you would still not find anything that would likely catch your eye. (Above is a photograph of Lower Antelope canyon from the surface.)  Lower Antelope Canyon 421If, however, you take the time to go down into the canyon (fortunately, there are steps) you will discover a magical world.  Wind, rain and floods have sculpted a fascinating world that when lit by the sun above becomes jaw-dropping beautiful.  The picture to the right illustrates the beauty that lies beneath the surface.

The slot canyons remind me that if we are not careful we will miss the beauty that is to be found around us.  This is especially true when it comes to the people we encounter in our lives.  If we only look on the outside and fail to go deeper we will often miss some amazing beauty. 

 In a delightful story from the Old Testament Samuel goes to the house of Jesse looking for Israel’s next king.  He looks first to the eldest son but God indicates that he is not the chosen one.  He does this with all the other brothers until he comes to David, the youngest, and discovers that he is the one to be anointed king of Israel.  It was here, in Jesse’s house, that God told Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

If God does not focus on “outward appearance,” then why do we?  We would be far better off  by going deeper and looking into the hearts of others.  There is where we will find the true beauty.