Soundtrack For a Spiritual Search

Oz Fox and Michael Sweet of Stryper
Oz Fox and Michael Sweet of Stryper

 

If you have known me for more then 10 minutes, you know I am obsessed with music.  Mostly heavy metal, but I also love blues, reggae and some indie music.  The only genre I can’t stomach is country.

As I was traveling down the long road of existisitential bleakness, there was one song that I listened to over and over and over and over.  Thrive by Switchfoot expressed my inner angst in a way I wasn’t able to vocalize.

The song opens with a muted bass guitar and sets a somber tone immediately.  Listen and read the lyrics below.

THRIVE

Been fighting things that I can’t see
Like voices coming from the inside of me and
Like doing things I find hard to believe in
Am I myself or am I dreaming?
I’ve been awake for an hour or so

Checking for a pulse but I just don’t know
Am I a man when I feel like a ghost?
The stranger in the mirror is wearing my clothes

No, I’m not alright
I know that I’m not right
A steering wheel don’t mean you can drive
A warm body don’t mean I’m alive

No, I’m not alright
I know that I’m not right
Feel like I travel but I never arrive
I wanna thrive not just survive

I come alive when I hear you singing
But lately I haven’t been hearing a thing and
I get the feeling that I’m in between
A machine and a man who only looks like me

I try and hide it and not let it show
But deep down inside me I just don’t know
Am I a man when I feel like a hoax?
The stranger in the mirror is wearing my clothes

No, I’m not alright
I know that I’m not right
A steering wheel don’t mean you can drive
A warm body don’t mean I’m alive

No, I’m not alright
I know that I’m not right
Feel like I travel but I never arrive
I wanna thrive not just survive

I’m always close, but I’m never enough
I’m always in line, but I’m never in love
I get so down, but I won’t give up
I get so down, but I won’t give up
I get so down, but I won; t give up

Been fighting things that I can’t see
Like voices coming from the inside of me and
Like doing things I find hard to believe in
Am I myself or am I dreaming?

Am I myself or am I dreaming?
Am I myself or am I dreaming?

Thrive, thrive, thrive, yeaah, thrive

No, I’m not alright
I know that I’m not right
A steering wheel don’t mean you can drive
A warm body don’t mean I’m alive

No, I’m not alright
I know that I’m not right
Feel like I travel but I never arrive
I wanna thrive not just survive
I wanna thrive not just survive

Yeah yeah
Feel like I travel but I never arrive
I wanna thrive not just survive
I wanna thrive not just survive
I wanna thrive not just survive

Feels like I travel but I never arrive
I wanna thrive not just survive

 

Talk about hitting the nail on the head.
“Been fighting things that I can’t see
Like voices coming from the inside of me and
Like doing things I find hard to believe in
Am I myself or am I dreaming?”

That was exactly how I was feeling!  For so long I was so sure of who I was and what I believed.  All of a sudden I was asking “Am I man when I feel like a ghost? The stranger in the mirror is wearing my clothes”  It is a weird place to be, that’s for sure.

As the years passed and I started thinking in theological terms again, the musical husband and wife team of Michael and Lisa Gungor released a new album called I Am Mountain.

The title track is such a beautiful song.  It literally is poetry set to music.

I AM MOUNTAIN

I am mountain, I am dust
Constellations made of us
There’s glory in the dirt
A universe within the sand
Eternity within a man

We are ocean, we are mist
Brilliant fools who wound and kiss
There’s beauty in the dirt
Wandering in skin and soul
Searching, longing for a home

As the light, light
Lights up the skies, up the skies
We will fight, fight
Fight for our lives, for our lives

I am mountain, I am dust
Constellations made of us
There’s mystery in the dirt
The metaphors are breaking down
We taste the wind and sight is sound

As the light, light
Lights up the skies, up the skies
We will fight, fight
Fight for our lives, for our lives
2x

Momentary carbon stories
From the ashes
Filled with holy ghost
Life is here now
Breathe it all in
Let it all go
You are earth and wind

 

Gungor perfectly captures the beauty and mystery of existence.

“There’s glory in the dust, A universe in the sand, eternity within a man”  I don’t claim to know how eternity or the afterlife work, but to think it is wrapped up within humanity amazing.  That eternity framed in “momentary carbon stories”. Such beautiful imagery!

 

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