Bob Dylan asks a simple question in his song Blowin’ in the Wind, and it is this, “How many times must a man look up before he sees the sky.” Now Bob Dylan may not be a Christian, but maybe he is, I don’t know; but I do know he asks a lot of the same questions I do, and sees past the boundary of things, where answers, delusions, and confusion lay. The question above, which is one of several he asks in that song, is meant to be rhetorical in nature, the obvious answer is “one;” a man should need only look one time to see the sky. Anyone with eyes can point you to the sky, right? But, the question remains, did you really see the sky, or just look at it?
Some may ask, “why are you, as a Christian, going to Bob Dylan for wisdom?” The answer to that question is, because I think that Bob Dylan really saw the sky. Bob Dylan has some wisdom to share with Christians; heck I believe that even some preachers may have some wisdom to share, on rare occasions.
There is an old saying that goes like this, “All truth is God’s truth.” I think Bob would agree that none of us yet knows as we ought to know, and the Christian who knows his or her Bible will be able to discern truth from whatever angle it may approach. God’s truth is diffused throughout the world. I am not encouraging others to go seek out Bob Dylan as a prophet; he is not a prophet, and his lifestyle is not one to be emulated; but me, being of the ‘60’s crowd, a lot of what Bob said as I was growing up still resonates with me. When I weigh some of his words against Scripture I believe he is very close to the Kingdom; I pray he will go all the way. In the deep recess of Bob’s heart he is afflicted with the same consciousness of guilt that lead me to Christ; isn’t that the reason God put it there in the first place? Bob’s song lyrics are plagued with that consciousness.
Okay, back to our original question, have you ever seen the sky? Don’t answer that too fast!
Life is not that complex, really, it’s that we just don’t see what it is that we have become a part of. Our eyes have been blinded to the truth, just as the Bible says. But, some, whose consciences are plagued, see but can’t explain, and it comes out of them in song lyrics or in strange forms of worship. Of course, the answer is to go to Him who sent the plague, and beg for mercy and healing; apart from that we just crawl along the ground and try to find answers in the dirt.
Bob says that the answer is, “Blowin’ in the wind,” and he is right. Grasping that answer is like grabbing hold of that “elusive butterfly of love.” The wind blows where it will, we don’t know where it comes from or where it is going, but we know it is there, we can feel it. The Spirit is like the wind and it moves through the earth seeking anyone whose will is for truth. When the Spirit finds that willingness to know truth it settles there and nourishes and fertilizes, and reveals the hiddenness of true wisdom, like a treasure, or a pearl of great price. The secret is to not become satisfied with the shadows of truth, but to press forward into the substance, into the light of full revelation. The Spirit opens our eyes so that we can see the sky, really see. The sky is revealed to us and it is no longer just the sky; it becomes one of the many jewels that are now laid open for us to finally see. What once plagued us is now revealed as so many precious gems, that we once only looked at and were troubled, but now we see; what was once hidden is now laid out in the open. What was once only a question is now an answer. What was once complex is now simple and obvious. Life outside Eden taxes our ability to sort through elementary things, because we only look at the sky, and never really see it.
My views of the institutional Church runs parallel with Bob Dylan’s question: How Many Times Must A Man Look Up Before He Can See the Sky? How many times can a Christian man read the Bible and still preach killing and condemning and judging? How Many Times Must A Man Look Up Before He Can See the Sky? If you can grab a hold of this guidance then you will find the answer, for it is Blowin’ in the Wind.