Kwong Wai Cheng
About the Songs We Sing
Throughout the Bible, we read about people enjoying God through songs of praise. Indeed, music coupled with meaningful words, goes a long way to soothe our weary hearts, refresh our souls and help us connect with God again. Through this series, I hope to share my findings and reflections about some of the hymns we sing in church. Perhaps it will also help you to enjoy God better, just as it has helped me.
Written by Jason Wade (of band: Lifehouse) (2000)
This song brings back fond memories of my youth mentor days, when I co-directed the church youths then to present a performance similar to the one in this video. The choreography, coupled with the contemplative mood of the song, and the final dramatic ending, really helped to present the struggles of youths back then. It was a time when romance, wealth, the desire to look good, alcohol and drugs were the common temptations that drew youths away from God… If we were ever to update this performance, perhaps the list will now be longer and we will need a longer song... but I digressed…
Going back to this song, lead singer cum song-writer, Jason Wade felt a lot for this song too. He described the song as “a bunch of bits and pieces” that sums up his music and his relationships.
Wade’s parents were Christian missionaries. When they divorced, Wade rebelled against everything his parents did to prove to himself that he was not like them. While his music had spiritual influences, Wade doesn't want his group to be labelled as a “Christian band.” He wants people to “take the lyrics and make them their own”, to interpret the lyrics in ways that help them in their lives.
To me, Wade’s philosophy about his music is very applicable. Whether religious or secular, we can ruminate on the lyrics of a good song, and draw inspiration from them to help us lead meaningful lives, or become easy-to-remember maxims for our daily interactions with people.
If I can further extend this philosophy to our daily reading of the bible. Imagine how great it would be, if we can meditate on God’s Words and make it come to life for us personally, aka “make it our own”, so that they become good principles that we can live by, whether we are baptised Christians or not! For I believe God wants EVERYONE to experience His power at work in our lives.
Going back to the song, I feel that it tells a story of seeking and finding. Consider these verses:
The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. (Psalm 14:2)
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:1-8)
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. (Acts 17:26-27)
For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. (Hebrews 3:4)
When I consider Wade’s lyrics, they seem to tell a story of a person calling out to God to find him and to speak to him, so that he can hear and feel God. With God leading the way, he finds the strength to keep walking and journeying deeper into life to find hope and rest, and eventually coming to the conclusion that God is everything – everything he wants, and everything he needs. This is the very secret of contentment and joy. This is a journey that starts by seeking and ends in finding.
This brings me back to the video link I’ve attached. This interpretation of Wade’s lyrics of God’s wanting that close relationship with us, and beating down all other competing influences in our fallen world, sings of a second chance in life.
This is the most moving part for me. I will always remember these scenes when I hear this song, and imagine myself as that wayward girl that has been rescued by God. Amen!
Kwong Wai Cheng
Wai Cheng is fascinated with words, especially the Word. Her life has always been revolving around words/Word, in one way or another. And she hopes to always hold fast to the Word, to draw strength and gain wisdom, to do the right things in God's sight. Wai Cheng has been a member of Central Christian Church since her campus days.