There Must Be Some Way Out of Here

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.” (Gandhi)

The Lyrics from Bob Dylan’s 1967 All Along the Watchtower1 sound like a haunting commentary of 2020:

“‘There must be some way out of here,’ said the joker to the thief,
“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.'”

A year later, Jimi Hendrix infused this song with some sort of unexplainable energy that created a time warp and slowed the rotation of the earth — while adding even more power to these prophetic lyrics. As Hendrix played, you could hear “the wind began to howl”. And somehow, mystically, we knew the growling wildcat was no longer “outside in the distance” but close by and silent. STOP! LISTEN!

In 2020, some see only futility: “There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.” But, All Along the Watchtower also possesses an optimism in its less quoted lines:

But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate”

The way of 2020 is not our fate. This brings me to the book of Isaiah and a simple line hidden away in its 66 chapters:

Your builders outdo your destroyers. (Isaiah 49 – NRSV)

In today’s world, it can feel like “the destroyers” are winning. Certainly, the damage is immense and in no way do I want to minimize the tragedies that have happened and the obstacles we face. But I also say:

Our builders will outdo our destroyers.

We see COVID ravaging our country and many other parts of the world. But I say, we will see the triumph of the human spirit, the human body, science, and common courtesy and respect.

Our builders will outdo our destroyers.

We watch our politics and wonder if we can find the truth. Can we even have a fair election? But I say: Our builders will outdo our destroyers. Democracy will once again prevail and enough people will see enough truth to put us back on track.

We see violence and hear of warnings of more violence. The horrible sins of racism and discrimination are once again becoming brazen. And the destroyers seem to be winning again, but I say:

Our builders will outdo our destroyers and “love your neighbor” will triumph.

Support builders! Celebrate builders! Be a builder! Choose the way of “truth and love” and we will “outdo the destroyers”.

We know the destroyers: “for a time, . . . can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”


1All Along the Watchtower. Album: John Wesley Harding. Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan Lyrics 1962-1985 (p. 262). Knoff Publishing. 1973, 1985.

Jesus Follower, Blogger, Public Speaker.

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2 comments on “There Must Be Some Way Out of Here
  1. Larry T says:

    Thanks, Dave, for this great perspective. While reading, I found myself reflecting on our up-and-coming Millennial generation. I am greatly encouraged as they are positioned and becoming our leaders and builders. That younger generation has values prioritizing relationships and higher causes, over money and power, rightfully seeing career and money as means toward engaging in those two higher values. As such – I feel great hope as my generation moves out of the game and takes our place on the sidelines, as coaches and confidants to these younger new visionaries.

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