Echoes From the Campfire

A murky, yellow-tinged blackness hung low over the city.  He recollected that stars, and sunrises and sunsets, and untainted air, and silence were not for city dwellers.”
              –Zane Grey  (The Call of the Canyon)

    “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations,” Says the Lord of hosts.”
              –Malachi 1:11 (NKJV)
When we built our house in San Antonio the view to the west was magnificent.  I would often stand outside and watch the sun go down over the ridge.  The sky moved from brightness of red and orange and yellow, moving as the sun finally disappeared to a rich, deep purple.  We were one of the few houses in the area; there was relatively no clutter.  The fields were full of wildlife, especially doves.  
    Then came progress.  Houses were built, some along the ridge, but the setting of the sun was still visible.  Then one day I noticed a structure being built.  It was huge and it all but destroyed my view of the ridge, spoiling not only the view of the sun when it set, but also destroying the atmosphere that was creating by the setting of the sun.
    I’ve walked in cities.  People tend to look down, even more so now because they have a phone in their hand.  Even if they would look up they could not see the rising or setting of the sun.  The monoliths are huge and they block out all but a few rays.  The concrete and asphalt heat up from the rays that do strike them, and a person almost wilts because of the heat.  
    Most cities are full of smog; they are dark, dingy, and dirty because of it.  Man may try and declare an “ozone day”, but the haze remains.  If you’ve ever been to Denver you can see the dirty brown layer that covers it.  Thank goodness the winds will come in to blow it away, but until they do that layer of smog looms over the city.
    Add to that all of the noise.  That’s one thing I really appreciate about where we now live–the quietness.  Nature is there, the quiet is there and when I sit out on the back deck in the morning writing and reading my devotions, I feel that God is there.  Seldom is there any man-made noise.  Oh, the crows fly by and give off their caw-caw, but that is nothing compared to the sound of truck, cars, horns, beeps, and whistles of the city.
    In the city, man has made his artificial stars, moon, and sun with the lights of business, factories, cars, and a sundry other things.  When we were building our house a man who was delivering material said he could not stay out here in the woods because there were wild animals.  But I say, that is more comforting than walking the dark streets of the city at night, for there is the worse form of beast–the wildness of man is seen.