I was driving north from Grand Rapids, MI on a fairly new stretch of highway – feeling really thankful for the 20 minutes it shaves off my original drive home when a sight interrupts my reverie. Perched high on a hill just in front of me is a chalet. I can see the reflection of the setting sun in its picture windows that face west. What a view! There is a moment of disjoint before I recognize that this spectacular view must have been even more outstanding before the divided highway was rudely placed in the valley below. I wonder all the things the human part of a person wonders… what DID it look like with all those rolling fields to gaze out upon, can all that exhaust belching at a person be healthy, and even more material… did they get reimbursed for the obvious drop in property value? (I have my priorities.) I am also self-conscious. A moment ago I was basking in the glory of their concrete addition and offering thanks for what it means to my schedule. I feel dangerously close to idol worship.
Maybe I am strange, but this makes me think of Moses coming down off Mt. Sinai still glowing (quite literally) from his view up there. Like the chalet, he finds that while he was gazing at his God’s glory – an ugly transformation has taken place in the valley. The crowd has gotten together and decided that they are going to improve things for themselves and not wait around for this slow moving God. So they decide on a way to speed up the process. Build a gold cow! Perfect. O.K, I don’t really get how they decided that this was the answer. I mean, that wouldn’t be my first inclination.
Or would it? Here I am, taking the gold paved road to home rather than the meandering back roads; taking the quick and easy vs. the deliberate and interesting.
And all for a measly 20 minutes! It is here that I kneel at the altar of least resistance and as a result sacrifice to the god of apathy on a regular basis. Where’s the view in that?
I sigh aloud. The truth is I want to take the road less traveled, yet my concrete cows beacon me and I bow down so low that only their gray pallor fills my vision and invades my heart. I am immersed in this empty worship until a shaft of perfectly aimed sunlight cuts through my line of sight. It’s deliberate and I decide that I can be too. All it takes is one small adjustment; one left turn and I am heading west into the setting sun. I will eventually find north again and I suspect it will be a truer form. But for now, I settle into the journey, taking my sweet time. My eyes are wide open and the view is expanding before me.
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