My life changed the day I pulled myself into the library, transformed forever like the sunrise on a summer day. The library was a place I had never wanted to visit.
Before the Library, my life was a daily grind of launching, landing, and desperately hanging on for dear life. Constantly struggling to keep the lack of Gravity from dominating my existence. Just like with everyone else I knew, the struggle was genuine. For instance, when I woke up, if I had forgotten to attach my phone to the bedside magnet, I would have to get the pole magnet to pull it back down from the ceiling.
The day began with releasing the belts that held me in bed so I could sleep without worrying about floating to the ceiling or out the window and into space.
After collecting my phone, I strapped in for breakfast. Tubes of “Cap’n Crunch” are squirted into my hungry mouth, as I try to ignore the longing to have a plain old bowl of “Cap’n Crunch” in a bowl with milk, with the satisfying sensation of the actual Crunch. Still, I wondered at the very existence of that thought. No one ever experienced that. Life on Earth is a weightless existence. We all made the best of it.
Every day began the same. The effort to get from point A to point B. Home to work and back again. Everyone’s strategy was different, and much of it depended on how much money you saved. Your wealth or social status dictated how much ease you could experience as you went about your business every day.
The most basic was the cable poles that lined the streets. First, I would open the front door of my apartment and hold onto the door frame. Concentration is everything when attempting to move from point to point. And, yes, you gain some expertise in this after a bit. You either conquer your fear of travel in a weightless environment, or you eventually give up and hide in your home and never come out. Thousands of people in our city give up every day. The insane asylums are overflowing with those that give up. But I digress, back to the door frame.
Using my arms like the elastic bands of a slingshot, I launch myself at the pole outside the apartment building. From there, I can grab the cable that winds through the city until I reach my office. The hard part is when you encounter people going in the other direction. Yes, specific cables are designated for one-way traffic. But many people let their frustrations get the better, ignore those rules, and grab the first cable they come to.
Some can afford a propulsion backpack. As I pull myself along on the cable, I can look up and see the wealthy powering their way to work effortlessly and in the cocoon of privacy afforded by their backpack.
Then there are the EMTs in their helicopters rescuing those who lost their grip on the cable. Or those daredevils who use the ancient launchers from the tops of their homes or apartments. A dangerous proposition as you need to have a computer app that will calculate exactly what kind of power to use on the launcher and at what angle and elevation to set it to reach your destination. It requires a daredevil mindset to use those. They keep the EMTs busy. And we lose a few weekly as their launchers malfunction and send their users into space.
As I pulled myself along on the cable, a sense of desperate hopelessness rose in my heart. Why was life this way? Why was there a sense of something better nagging at the back of my mind? Wasn’t life always this way?
That’s when I saw him.
About two blocks ahead, I saw a man walking down the sidewalk all by himself with a big grin and a to-go coffee cup. He didn’t have a hold on the cable. He casually walked as if his feet were stuck to the ground, reading something on his phone.
I was dumbstruck. How was that possible? That man was unaffected by the lack of Gravity. Then he was gone. He WALKED around the corner. Unfortunately, I had stopped on the cable and received quite a nasty push from the woman behind me. So, I continued to my office, wondering what I had witnessed. I had heard that a few companies were working on shoes that would stick to the sidewalks. However, research has highlighted significant hurdles and costs that are too prohibitive to be practical. Most thought new sidewalks would need to be rebuilt to accommodate the latest technology.
I never made it to the office. When I pulled myself around the same corner, that man had disappeared around, I saw a building I had never noticed until this morning. “Public Library,” the dingy unlit sign proclaimed on the outside of the red brick building. There was that nagging at the back of my mind agian. Something that said here was something new, something containing hope. Something told me that life didn’t need to be hopeless and the same old, same old. That part of my mind that could judge between true and false screamed to follow the nagging. So, I launched myself towards the two large, oddly striped barbershop poles on either side of the library doors.
I managed to grab the pole to the right of the double doors. Each door was made of solid dark-stained oak and a large smiling faces carved into each door. The faces looked like the face of that mythological character, Santa Claus, that my father used to tell me about as a child. All those old stories about Santa or jolly old Saint Nick. Yeah, what’s there to be jolly about? After years of struggle to stay on the ground, I had forgotten those stories. Just a life of survival and the mind-numbing hopelessness of the sameness that kept going like a bad dream.
As I opened the door, a warm blast of air escaped and washed over my face. Light streamed out the growing gap between the two doors as I pulled with as much leverage as I could gain from the pole, until I finally stood next to the door.
I was standing.
There were rows and rows of shelves filled with books, and people were standing around, reading books, not held down by anything. There were tables with lamps, and people quietly sitting and reading books. Nothing was floating away.
I didn’t want to move as I didn’t want to ruin the moment. Or was I dreaming? But another person entered the library and said, “Excuse me,” as he stepped around me, interrupting my amazement.
So, I stepped into the Library and came face to face with the Librarian.
“Hello, Derek. Welcome to the Library. I am here to answer your questions and to lead you into all understanding of the land of Gravity. Out of the darkness and into the light. Out of the hopeless and into the New Creation. My name is Jesus.
You are part of an awakening that will carry you out of a world that has lost its anchor. I am the anchor. I am the Way, The Truth, and the Life. There are weight and Gravity in the Kingdom, and a future. The world without me is a foundationless world without Gravity, lost and adrift. Most people outside those doors are stuck in ignorance and have no idea they are lost and drifting off into nothingness.
Your tiny seed of hope and faith that life must be different brought you to the Truth. Now it’s your turn to take the message of Gravity to those clueless about their lostness. It won’t be easy, as those lost can’t see hope. Indeed, most won’t even see you. They can’t see beyond their hopelessness. There is a kind of comfort to being lost. Especially when you don’t know you are lost.
Here in the Library is the story about the Truth. Take your time. Let your heart find the answers to all those questions fueling your imagination.”
“Welcome to the New Creation. Welcome to Gravity.” Jesus said as He handed me a Library card and wrapped His arms around me in a genuine, solidly planted hug.