Thursday, January 31, 2008

Switchfoot Live

The concert was fantastic. Switchfoot were absolutely amazing live. They opened the show with several of their faster rock songs like Oh! Gravity, Stars and We Are One Tonight, their electrifying guitar riffs ripping through an ecstatic crowd. Unlike most of the eager young people in the mosh pit, I sat a safe distance away on the elevated seats, far from the madding crowd but no less enthusiastic.

On the slower songs lead singer Jon Foreman took to the stage solo, accompanying himself on the acoustic guitar. By way of introduction he said, "This is one of my favourites," before launching into what is also one of my favourites - Only Hope. Both a meditation and a prayer.

Sing to me of the song of the stars
Of Your galaxy dancing and laughing
and laughing again
When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that You have for me
over again

But perhaps the most touching moment of the concert came, surprisingly, not during one of their slower, more meditative songs, but in the middle of one of their loud rock anthems.

We were meant to live for so much more
Have lost ourselves
Somewhere we live inside, somewhere we live inside

Foreman turned the microphone over to the audience and the band fell silent. I never knew that there were so many kids in Singapore who knew the words to this song.

The hall was filled with the sound of singing -

We were meant to live
We were meant to live

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


by Switchfoot

Face down with the LA curbside ending
In ones and zeros
Downtown was the perfect place to hide
The first star that I saw last night was a headlight
of a man-made sky,
but man-made never made our dreams collide

Here we are now with the falling sky and the rain
We're awakening
Here we are now with the desperate youth and the pain
We're awakening
Maybe it's called ambition, you've been talking in your sleep
About a dream, we're awakening

Last week found me living for nothing but deadlines,
With my dead beat sky but
this town doesn't look the same tonight
These dreams started singing to me out of nowhere
And in all my life, I don't know if I've ever felt so alive

I want to wake up kicking and screaming
I want to wake up kicking and screaming
I want a heart that I know is beating
It's beating, I'm bleeding
I want to wake up kicking and screaming
I want to live like I know what I'm leaving
I want a heart that I know is beating
It's beating, I'm bleeding

The acoustic version of the song can be found here. (By the way, Switchfoot is coming to Singapore. Yay!)

And so it is. Another year passes us by. 2007 marked my first full year in the workforce, a strange new reality - or unreality - that I am slowly starting to get used to. Monday to Friday, morning to night. Sometimes I find myself lost in the regular routine - "Last week found me living for nothing but deadlines" - only ever catching the faintest glimpses of light. But the end of a year, with Christmas as well as the new year, a season of hope and birth and new beginnings, is always a fantastic wake up call. Once again I am reminded of the heart of all things, which is You and You alone.

When I attempted, a few minutes ago, to describe our spiritual longings, I was omitting one of their most curious characteristics. We usually notice it just as the moment of vision dies away, as the music ends or as the landscape loses the celestial light. What we feel then has been well described by Keats as “the journey homeward to habitual self.” You know what I mean.

For a few minutes we have had the illusion of belonging to that world. Now we wake to find that it is no such thing. We have been mere spectators. Beauty has smiled, but not to welcome us; her face was turned in our direction, but not to see us. We have not been accepted, welcomed, or taken into the dance. We may go when we please, we may stay if we can: “Nobody marks us.”

A scientist may reply that since most of the things we call beautiful are inanimate, it is not very surprising that they take no notice of us. That, of course, is true. It is not the physical objects that I am speaking of, but that indescribable something of which they become for a moment the messengers. And part of the bitterness which mixes with the sweetness of that message is due to the fact that it so seldom seems to be a message intended for us but rather something we have overheard.

By bitterness I mean pain, not resentment. We should hardly dare to ask that any notice be taken of ourselves. But we pine. The sense that in this universe we are treated as strangers, the longing to be acknowledged, to meet with some response, to bridge some chasm that yawns between us and reality, is part of our inconsolable secret.

And surely, from this point of view, the promise of glory, in the sense described, becomes highly relevant to our deep desire. For glory meant good report with God, acceptance by God, response, acknowledgment, and welcome into the heart of things. The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.

C. S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory

Happy New Year everyone.