Job Loss, Fighting With God, and Trespassing On A DOD Installation

We've all been there.

You wake up at 3:30am to take a sunrise photoshoot an hour away, get into a dramatic King David-style throwdown with God while en route, get lost and end up accessing a no-access Defense compound which played host to a divine epiphany...

The day started out rather conventionally. 

Quick back story: I recently received a promotion at work which came with a considerable vacation day package. The days don't accrue, they're just automatically there...and they're indefinite...and you're required to start taking them effective immediately. Sigh...subtly never was my strong suit. What can be summarized as an amicable parting of ways due to differences in direction, I am no longer employed in my former position.

Last night I felt like going to Annapolis in the morning for a sunrise photoshoot. The weather said it'd be slightly cloudy, which is perfect for sunrises with the light clouds serving as a canvas for the sun's hues or something artsy like that. When I neared the State park that I had planned to shoot at, it was closed. So, wanting to make sure I didn't lose the dusk shots, I quickly looked on my phone and found an area about a mile away that appeared to be open land facing the east.  Upon arrival I learned that this land was occupied by none other than Northrup Grumman. If you're not familiar with Northrup, just think Stark Industries from Ironman– except real. For perspective, their website says, "The ability to project air power anywhere in the world is an essential strategic deterrence capability."  For all the right reasons, turning around was probably the best choice. But for all the wrong reasons, I decided not to. So now I'm driving my bright orange car across a forest-hidden compound hosted by a leading weapons developer with international contracts. Who are these people? Who did they think I was? Who did I think I was? None of that mattered to me at now 5:20am. In retrospect, my rationale was fascinating in that I refused to enter a local park because they were closed, but I held no conscience against trespassing onto a sensitive paramilitary depot likely housing assets vital to world domination. I'm sure God had His reasons.

In another time of life I was in the Marines assigned to a security component for President's Bush and Obama. I know security operations, and I know what security personnel look for in suspicious behavior.

So with those credentials I offer the following tip: If you're not on the access roster for a no-access facility that you're accessing anyway for no reason good enough for any federal magistrate, reconsider pulling out your camera with a long range lens, tripod, and pants, coat, and beanie all colored black. Lucky for me I was thoroughly equipped with all of the above.  Long story short, the weather man's forecast was well below the standards of what I imagine Northrup's target accuracy to be. The clouds were heavy and I couldn't see the sun at all.

And then I had, if I dare be so haughty, an epiphany.

The clouds may block the sun, but they can never call into question its existence. And how pretentious of the sun to further make its presence known by surrounding every blocking cloud with a glowing lining as if to say, "you can float in front of me, but I will identify myself along every inch of your perimeter and furthermore I will permeate my illumination through you so to make it known that I am present in every single circumstance that would try to disprove my existence or undermine my sovereignty.

The cloud of these last couple of weeks has been job loss. But the sun, being God, has outlined these circumstances through the overwhelming loyalty that I've felt from a wide range of contacts I've developed over the last couple of years that I've worked in DC. I already have a few promising leads to jump back in career mode. God is good.

We may not always be able to see the sun, but by the sun we can see everything else. I know, I know C.S. Lewis said something similar, but mine was different enough to be mine. Leave me alone.

Where this wisdom was when I was deciding whether to board a restricted facility with signs that clearly indicated said restrictiveness, I can't tell you. But it eventually came.

As the morning went on, my time as a double agent came to an end. Even with the esthetically displeasing sunrise, I was still able to snap some sick photos. I even met a friend. I forgot his name but he was a federal officer and he complimented my photography skills as he watched me delete each individual picture I had taken on the facility approximately 100 yards from a large sign that illustrated what some would interpret as a camera with a slash through it or something, I dunno.

I could have really milked my sadness to see the photos go, but the officer was nice so I spared him the guilt trip. Also, my camera and iPhone are synced so every picture I take with my camera automatically copies to my phone. I know, I'm rotten.

What I hope that you take from this blog, besides the fact that I one-up'd James Bond, is that God is ever-present, all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever-loving NO MATTER your circumstances. The clouds may block the sun, but they can never call into question its existence, its impact, its effectiveness, its role, its dominance, and its role in our world.


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