Last week, my family and I went hiking in Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. As you can see from the pictures, it was spectacularly beautiful. If you have never been there, you’ll have to trust me that these pictures hardly do the parks justice.
This past weekend, we heard the story of the woman at the well. (John 4:5-42) Jesus asks her for water, and then offers her living water instead. As she tells the townspeople, they are intrigued and invite Jesus to stay. By the time Jesus leaves, the people tell the woman that they believed her word to begin with, but now they believe for themselves.
There’s a big difference here. Just like my pictures from the national parks, we can experience something through the eyes of another. We can trust that the pictures give us a glimpse of reality, and we can enjoy the beauty and grandeur that lie before us. However, when you drive into Zion, and the earth opens up into massive walls of color on sheer faces of rock, you realize that no picture could really portray what is there.
We can trust others’ experiences of God, and even feel a part of them, but at some point, we must invite Jesus to stay. We must sit and listen to Him; walk and converse with Him. Our faith is meant to be just that – ours. Don’t settle for anything less.