It Won’t Be Too Long


Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near, – Joel 2:1

 People keep on learnin’
Soldiers keep on warrin’
World keep on turnin’
Cause it won’t be too long 

No matter what, this old world just keeps on spinning…one more “trip around the sun” as Jimmy Buffett sang. And there’s nothing new under that sun, especially through the eyes of God. Wars continue to rage, weather continues to change and we all just continue to turn the page in the book of Life.

Powers keep on lyin’
While your people keep on dyin’
World keep on turnin’
Cause it won’t be too long

Yes, the road goes on forever and the party never ends, as Robert Earl Keen said. Or does it?

Back in 1973, Stevie (no longer “little Stevie”) Wonder certainly didn’t think so. He thought our time was short and the day’s end was nigh…the Judgement Day, that is. So short, in fact, that he wrote “Higher Ground” in about 3 hours. According to a later interview in Q magazine, Wonder said: “It was almost as if I had to get it done. I felt something was going to happen. I didn’t know what or when, but I felt something.”

I’m so darn glad He let me try it again
Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I’m so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin’
Till I reach my highest ground

Interestingly enough, “Higher Ground” and the album that contained it, Innervisons, was released just 3 days before Stevie was almost killed in a car accident on his way to a  benefit concert in Durham, North Carolina. A logging truck ahead of his car stopped suddenly in front of them, throwing a log through the windshield and striking Stevie in the head. He was in a coma for 4 days!

After recovering, Stevie said “I was definitely in a much better spiritual place that made me aware of a lot of things that concern my life and my future and what I have to do to reach another higher ground. This is like my second chance for life, to do something or to do more and to face the fact that I am alive.”

Yes…we definitely have the God of second chances. He loved us so, and realizing we could never come close to “earning” our way into Heaven, he offered us his Son. Yes…Jesus is the ultimate “do-over” for us all, Stevie included.

Don’t let nobody bring you down (they’ll sho ’nuff try)
God is gonna show you higher ground
He’s the only friend you have around

Innervisions was almost at the midway point (the 16th of some 30 odd LP’s he released) and the follow up to 1972’s Talking Book which featured a touch of the young Stevie (‘You Are The Sunshine Of My Life”) and a glimpse of the new, more sophisticated Stevie (“Superstition”). It was on the strength of Talking Book (and opening for the Rolling Stones tour) that really catapulted him from Motown teen idol to the R&B legend he became.

Till I reach my highest ground
No one’s gonna bring me down
Oh no
Till I reach my highest ground

Stevie’s message is definitely one to heed. As the Bible says, no one knows the time or the day, but it’s coming. Until then all we can do is to try our best to reach our own “higher ground”.

And don’t let nobody bring you down.

Listen to the original here:

Fantastic version from Playing For Change (musicians around the world)