Tuesday, September 24, 2013


The highway lends itself to its name--suspended high above the slow crawl of street traffic, I see the setting sun cast its glow across the cityscape as I make my way home. I check the car's clock, but I already know what time it is -- it's the golden hour: the magical hour when the soft fading light draws out otherwise unperceived shades and hues, making any subject come alive.

My eyes narrow to focus, trying to take it all in. The sun is setting in a sea of concrete and steel--buildings; buildings upon buildings. Smokestacks puff, neighbor to apartment blocks and high-rises in various states of construction and disrepair. Shacks perched upon warehouses, both manufactured from the same metal of shipping containers. The scene takes me back (or forward) to movies on post-21st century times: overcrowded, overbuilt, overpopulated.

The bend shifts on the overpass and in front of me I see the waves that lap into this mechanical ocean--vehicles lined up in streaming floods, each a pod encasing an individual, each individual as a drop, drop upon drop to expand the swelling masses. These are the people that fill the buildings I drive by each day.

My picture from this hour could be from anywhere -- any densely populated city outside of the pristine prestige of the West. But it could even be from a future America, one of these days.

Each day the stream trickles into rivers, rivers into oceans. People on routine, people with business, people with somewhere to go, something to do, someone to be. What is it all for? The futility of human existence apart from God pulls at me like a haunted dream.

Back on the ground, I wait at an intersection with a rusty red Daihatsu, its large and minute parts rattling with every rotation of the engine. Beside me, a shiny white new Benz impatiently creeps forward, willing the light to turn green. The juxtaposition is discordant. Many would say the white car far outweighs the red in worth. But in the end, in golden hour's glow, I see it's all the same.

Last week I was again on the highway on the eve of super typhoon Usagi. In the near distance I spied some shiny objects floating at the same level as the thoroughfare; about 25-30 stories high. Closer inspection revealed them to be balloons: bright, shiny, festive red. They did not appear to be attached to anything--yet free as they were, they remained suspended in the still, heavy air. Caught in the atmosphere too dense for upwards travel, they smothered.

Daily pressures, confused plans, and distracting spiritual powers can envelope and paralyze. One day a storm will come of supernatural proportions, and all that is unclear or untrue will be laid bare. Until then I ask for unfettered purpose that will keep my direction continuing upwards... into the life-giving glow of the golden Sun.

Wake up, wake up, the sun cannot wait for long
Reach out, reach out before it fades away
You will find the warmth when you surrender
Smile into the fear and let it play

You wanna run away, run away
And you say that it can't be so
You wanna look away, look away
But you stay 'cause it's all so close
When you stand up and hold out your hand
In the face what I don't understand
My reason to be brave
Brave||Josh Groban