We visited the C&O canal on Saturday, and I was reminded of a quote from an Asian pastor touring American churches. It was something along the lines of
"It is amazing what the western church can do without God."
The canal is very cool. The most interesting part is watching the operation of the lock. They pull open the doors to the lock and water rushes in lifting the waters of the canal. It's interesting. It made me pause and say, "Huh, cool." If you were looking for Great Falls, you might think, "Well, there's rushing water here. It's close. It kind of reminds me of a waterfall." Though innovative and interesting, it's entirely explainable, manageable. When you take a closer look, you notice that the water is stagnant and the banks are clearly man-made. It did nothing for my spirit.
Off to the side, there is a path that leads to an overview of Great Falls. It is not in the same category as the canal. It is Other. There are rapids, waterfalls, boulders, ... There are some pockets of still water but nothing stagnant. It's scary. The current is swift - treacherous. It is a thing of God, not of man.
There were kayaks putting in at Great Falls. It looked scary but EXHILIRATING. Other. There was a boat ride at the canal. It looked BORING.
The night before this excursion, Chris and I participated in a meeting at church. We're planning some things we'd like to do as a church - important Jesus things. Reflecting on the canal, I want to be so careful and prayerful. I want to kayak Great Falls and not sit on a boat in the C&O Canal.
* Note - the C&O Canal was rendered obsolete before the project was even completed.
** This was a really great outing with the kids. They loved the rock scrambling.