When I was in seminary, I worked part-time preaching every Sunday and wrote during the week for an ad agency whose principal client was free-falling down the Fortune 500. It was always unnerving for the ad-writer me to visit my contacts downtown in their slowly emptying tower, because everyone was filled with fear and desperation. These good people were reluctant to speak out, make decisions or even think independently for fear of Wall Street, the Board of Directors, and the dreaded Corporate American Axeman. I know so many people in offices and on shop floors who are simply keeping their heads down and grinding it out to make it to Friday, completely demoralized and dehumanized.

I love that part of the story of the Prodigal Son where it is written that he “comes to himself.” It is so easy to lose ourselves in a harsh working environment. What do you do when you are spiritually re-awakened and find yourself surrounded by de-humanizing machinery? You see things for what they are. You leave early and find your way home if you can possibly swing it. You take as many people with you as will listen to “the wise madness eternity preaches.”

Awakening-4bellsFour Bells

Four bells… Four bells…
I know it’s early but I think we’re going home.

Here comes fearless leader.
He steamrolls down the aisle.
Bringing heat to hotdogs,
Taking heat from apple pie.
An old friend’s coming back around
To see what’s lost and who is found.
I will heed His call this time.
His words ring round in back of my mind.
I hear the ringing…four bells.

Four bells…Four bells…
I know it’s  early but I think we’re going home.
Four bells…Four bells…
You can rise up with us
or sit here and grind alone.

Old friend, best friend
Please start us up all over again,
Back to scratch with nothing planned,
Letting go of all we can.
Your warm word inside whispering,
Laughing past the clicking machines
Drink the mirage a true stride reaches,
Speak the wise madness eternity preaches.
I hear the ringing…four bells.

©2004 Corey Keyes

Awakening Manifesto:

Chapter 1: Awakening
Chapter 2: Gladly Sing the Blues
Chapter 3: Four Bells
Chapter 4: I Get Your Drift
Chapter 5: Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There
Chapter 6: Talitha Cum
Chapter 7: Push to Beat the Train
Chapter 8: True Love Is
Chapter 9: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Come In
Chapter 10: Live on Love
Chapter 11: White Road Rag