Grand Canyon Turns 110

The Grand Canyon is 108 years old today. Well, not exactly. On January 11, 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt declared the Grand Canyon a national monument. By the end of the nineteenth century, America’s biggest hole in the ground was attracting thousands of tourists each year. One famous visitor was Roosevelt, a New Yorker with an affection for the American West. After becoming president in 1901, he made environmental conservation a cornerstone of his administration. After establishing the National Wildlife Refuge to protect the country’s animals, fish, and birds, Roosevelt turned his attention to federal regulation of public lands.

In January, 1908, he helped turn more than 800,000 acres of the Grand Canyon into a national monument. “Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is,” he declared. “You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.”

Did you hear about the two guys who had a bet on which of them could jump from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other? The first man stepped back, got a running start, and took off. He jumped 20 feet out, off the ledge, before plunging to his death. His buddy looked down into the canyon and yelled, “I can do better than that!” Then he proceeded to jump 25 feet before joining his friend below.

Each of us is facing a canyon that separates us from God. And no matter how good we are – how far we can jump – none of us is good enough to jump all the way to the other side. That’s where the bridge comes into play. In Jesus Christ the Creator of the universe built a bridge from where we are to where He is.

It doesn’t matter how good you are or how far you can jump. You can’t cross the canyon on your own. The bridge has been built and the toll has been paid. All you have to do is take one step – by faith.

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