In August 2017, my family decided to tackle Big Daddy in Namibia’s Namib Desert. “For real, this is like literally, the highest level on the stair master at the gym but worse.” Our guide gave us pointers, the best of which was to step in the person’s footprints ahead of you. He told my husband and I (not our adult children) to listen to our hearts. Whoa! I thought the emotion meter had skyrocketed to a whole other 1980’s pop-ballad measure, until he clarified that he’d had an older man with cardiac issues fail at Big Daddy a week ago. The advice was quite literal. While the dune is always an uphill battle, the gradient is not constant. There are a few flat stretches which seem to be nature’s gift to help restore the flagging climber. Then there are also steeper segments, nature’s way of teasing you. What kills you is the soft sand into which you sink and slide downwards. As I began to continue to climb, I found myself counting under my breath. This isn’t your Kilimanjaro or Everest, but it’s a decent hike, and for me, the sense of satisfaction on the top at 59 years old was amazing.
Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too hard or too wonderful for You, Jeremiah 32:17 (NASB)
I faced my fear (real fear), and we made the climb. It was terrifying and tough! I had sore quads and took lots of deep breaths, but that isn’t the only thing I accomplished that day.
First of all, I was confirmed that if you desire more out of life, sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone. Climbing Big Daddy with my adult children, was WAY out of my comfort zone, but I had a great experience!
As a family, we stood on top of Big Daddy, 360 degree views over endless red sand dunes and the Dead Vlei far, far below us. It was God’s majesty. Yes, it was a tough climb, 1 hour and 20 minutes — tougher than we thought it would be, but we felt a real sense of achievement. After the descent, we looked straight up at Big Daddy, the dune seemed endless. We stood there for several minutes trying to take it all in and searching for a word to describe it other than awesome. We couldn’t think of one. Then, as we were about to leave, we turned to each other and said, “As awesome and as huge Big Daddy is, and as much as we can’t seem to take this Dune’s size in, how big is God?” How awesome is He? I have reached the conclusion that I have spent most of my life putting God in a neat little box that I can tie with a pretty bow. I have always had a God that I could explain rather than a God who defies explanation. I am tired of limiting God in my life, experiencing anything less than the fullness of His glory, grace and power. God has called us to step out of our comfort zone and live abundantly, above all we could ever ask or imagine. Have Your way in my life, Jesus.
How dumbstruck are we going to be when we see God’s face? Our hearts are full of wonder, captured by Your beauty, Falling on our knees we worship You alone, Magnificent God, Magnificent God. (Big Daddy Weave’s song Magnificent God) It’s unimaginable! I know, even then, we’ll be at a loss for words.
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the thing God has prepared for those who love him – 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)
In awe of the One, God, who made it all!