You Can Call Me Brandon

During high school, my American Lit teacher had us write an essay analyzing the song, “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon. I got the gist of the song, but it probably meant more to the teacher at that point, than it did to a bunch of 15-year-old punks who thought they were immortal. Now as a 33-year-old cog in a bureaucratic machine, the lyrics ring true:

“He says why am I short of attention
Got a short little span of attention
And wo my nights are so long
Where's my wife and family
What if I die here
Who'll be my role-model
Now that my role-model is
Gone Gone”

It is easy for me to slip into the trough of missed opportunity and wasted potential. Or even worse to get trapped in the illusory world of unproductive fantasy that keeps me from taking the first step towards fulfilling goals in reality.

There just isn’t enough time now to keep up with the culture, “pop” or otherwise. Not that I hate getting old as much as I hate not being “in on it”. I keep getting invitations to accept “friends” or whatever you call them on Facebook, and I’ve never even been on the site. I can’t keep up with one more thing, and it is only going to get worse. The world is strange and getting stranger. I feel the pressure to simplify, and for me that feels like weakness; like throwing priorities overboard so I can stay afloat.

“It's a street in a strange world
Maybe it's the Third World
Maybe it's his first time around
He doesn't speak the language
He holds no currency
He is a foreign man”

But eternity brings me back; my faith in things not seen and evidence of things hoped for. A life built on the truth of God frames a worldview that finds meaning in being a loving husband and a good father. It makes me thankful that I get the opportunity to be productive at work each day, and provide for my family. Building on the Rock makes life’s wanderings a journey; a journey filled with purpose and peace. Maybe I’m being a little liberal with the interpretation, but once again for me it rings true.

“He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity
He says Amen! and Hallelujah!”
Here are the Lyrics in full:

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