“Blowing in the Wind”
Blowing in the Wind
In a series of frustrated, rhetorical queries, Bob Dylan’s 1960’s “protest “song, “Blowing in the Wind,” identifies both personal and national moral conundrums. He poses stirring questions about how many roads or years we must take or live before we comprehend our common humanity. He laments our inability to listen to and to show compassion for each other. He bewails humanity’s inhumanity.
His lyrics are poetic and touching and worth listening to as he drills down to our core problem, our selfish, broken natures which consciously ignore the suffering and pain of others. They ask questions. Why is there no peace, no love? Why is freedom scarce? Why does oppression, discrimination, racism, or war exist? Why do we insist on destroying each other? How long can we continue on without eroding away our foundations? Wherein lies the reason for our moral failures? Are we overwhelmed with the enormity of our problems and feel helpless? Is it ignorance or passivity?
Dylan’s concerns predate him by centuries. They have plagued mankind since our beginnings! Although his song identifies our flaws, arouses emotions, and perturbs us, he doesn’t identify solutions. There is no apparent healing. “The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.”
Whether or not he knew it, Dylan desired what God has always desired for humanity. The prophet Micah reminded Judah that God had told them, “O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:6-8)
Our oppositional arrogance is the problem. We don’t walk with God. All our preceding generations have traveled many pothole strewn roads in an attempt to change the narrative: education, philosophy, psychology, religion, criminal justice, and governmental oversight of society. Yet, we remain puzzled and frustrated with our lack of transformation. Regardless of the strategy, whether diversity training, preaching tolerance, revising history, promoting exchange programs, attempting eugenics, giving generously, talking about love, or outright opposing injustices, we don’t change because our hearts don’t change. To have happiness and stability, we must live within societal and moral guidelines without which we fall into the morass of ungrace! The wonky thinking that we are free moral agents and can do what we wish without consequences has been proven wrong time and again.
In His moral Law, God has laid out specifically how to live and to have optimum results of happiness and fulfillment. People of faith will always battle personal flaws, but justice and love will thrive when and where they humbly recognize God’s authority. The Scriptures and the teachings and sacrifice of Christ light the way.
It seems “the answer” isn’t somewhere blowing in the wind. It lies deep within our souls where raw and untamed desires rise up and need transformation. Through the humility of repentance and faith and obedience, God changes human spirits into lives with meaning and purpose and hope. Christ promises that transformation through his renewing and redeeming power in believing hearts who will follow the path he walked for us–one of love, sacrifice, mercy and grace.