The Golden State.

It’s my nightly ritual. Drink a cup of tea, listen to some melancholic music, and write away. Usually, the music is just background noise. Yet, tonight, it was much more.

As I sat and paused for a moment, I listened to the lyrics of City and Colour’s “The Golden State,” and began to recognize a hidden message that lately has been on my heart.

Why’s everyone still singing about California?
Haven’t we heard enough about the Golden State?
And people still follow them dreams to sweet California
And from time to time I pass on by, but I will never stay
No, I will never stay

Sure there are beautiful people, in the city of lost angels
They’re living like they’re kings and queens, from some royal age
But fortune and fame won’t save you, when California
Is wiped out by the ring of fire or a great earthquake

California, it’s the Golden State, it’s the state where dreams are made, where young stars are born, where gold is found and where joy is found.

As I listened, I began to replace the lyrics with other dreams and hopes. California represents the new job, the relationship, the materialistic desires, the fill in the blank.
But fortune and fame won’t save you, when California is wiped out by the ring of fire

I’ll replace these metaphorical lyrics with something like this:
But fortune and circumstances won’t fill you with joy, won’t change you and won’t save you

We look to the promise, The Golden State(representative of whatever it may be in your life), where there is a future, where there is gold, where there is success, and we begin to focus on the fact that once we have those things or once we have finally arrived in California, we will be “saved,” or we will be satisfied.

It correlates with a message I heard this past week entitled “Only Jesus.

With all the promotions and commotions, there is emptiness. We are looking at things to complete us. And then, we are empty. If I put on the fesad, I’ll be completely full, but that isn’t the truth. We are looking for love in the wrong places. Jesus is the only one who is full. The oil(the gold) is the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost fills our empty vessels.
 -Amado Huizar

We will never be satisfied. We will keep trekking through life, we will keep singing about California, yet we won’t be full. The greatest miracle, the greatest promise that one can ever receive is the gift of the Holy Ghost.

In the song “The Golden State,” he sings

And people still follow them dreams to sweet California
And from time to time I pass on by, but I will never stay

He will not stay because he longs for more, he longs to “see the leaves change, and the snowflakes falling and the wind whistling through the pines.” California(Our dreams, our hopes, our desires) will not complete us and satisfy that deep longing within. There is something that has to get a hold of us that makes us recognize that Jesus is the only one who satisfies.

I realize I am stretching these lyrics and am metaphorically turning them into something that they really aren’t, but when listening to the song, these were the thoughts that begin to enter my mind. You see, there is something that has to get a hold of our spirits that makes us long for more than California(again, follow the metaphor).

Jesus satisfies our hungry and thirsty souls through the power of the Holy Ghost. We cannot deny this apostolic truth.

We look to our circumstances for joy and satisfaction, but let me tell you, I know people who don’t have the greatest circumstances, yet have a pure joy that is running through their veins. Why? Because one day, they heard the gospel message and the greatest promise that has ever been given to man and received a gift that is undeniable, powerful and absolutely transforming.

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” -C.S. Lewis

Why is everyone still singing about California?  There’s another world I was made for. And, while God has given me the gift of the Holy Ghost, and has given me an inevitable joy, I won’t be fully satisfied until I meet Him in those streets of gold.

I won’t stay in California(hopefully, the metaphor makes sense by now.)

But, I will trek through this life, desiring more(miracles, impossible prayers to be answered, and ultimately, to see lives transformed through the precious gift of the Holy Ghost.

This golden state is just my temporary home.

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