Song Stories From the Edge: Track 9 – Wise Old Man

This song didn’t even originally make the short list for the album, but my brother talked me into including it. Thank him or blame him for the final result.

I like listening to author and apologist Ravi Zacharias, partly because he is a phenomenal thinker/speaker and partly because I enjoy having my mind blown from time to time. As those pieces of my brain slowly drift back to earth post-explosion, I feel somehow lighter and heavier at the same time. I highly recommend the experience.

Even Ravi's hair looks smart, doesn't it?!

Even Ravi’s hair looks smart, doesn’t it?!

I especially like what Ravi says in response to the question of life’s meaning:

“What brings meaning is when you can combine a sense of wonder, under-girded by truth, experiencing the richness of love, with the knowledge of security.”

In his teaching, Ravi connects each of these four elements to corresponding seasons of life: wonder in childhood, truth in the college years, love in one’s middle age, and security as an elder. I wrote this song quite simply because I wanted to remember the elements. You can hear the flow if you listen through the verses and encounter a character of some kind (maybe the same one as he ages) at each stage of life. Ultimately Ravi suggests there is only one person who effectively encompasses all of these elements – that would be Jesus the Christ.

The chorus talks about the setting sun being beautified by the pollution that acts as a thin curtain in front of it. This idea emerged as I meditated on Ravi’s words and shot back in my mind to time I spent years ago in his home nation, India. The sunsets in the large cities were so striking, but were contaminated and thus felt somehow cheapened by the fact that the intense smog created much of that dynamic effect.

I’d say that’s a decent metaphor for discerning the meaning of life, but I’ll let you decide for yourself. (And if you disagree, you can talk to my brother about that as well.)

Seagulls fly over the River Ganges during sunset  at Sangam in Allahabad. Allahabad, located in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and where the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers meet, is a focal point for Hindu pilgrims during the Kumbh Mela, where devotees gather to bathe in the holy waters of the three rivers. (Sanjay Kanojia/Getty Images)

Seagulls fly over the River Ganges during sunset at Sangam in Allahabad.

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