Weekly @Switchfoot Song: Edge of My Seat

Track four on the Legend of Chin album is entitled, “Edge of My Seat”. Are you sitting on the edge of yours? If not, sit down, get on the edge, and read on:

Nothing more
That there’s nothing more
Nothing more
That there’s nothing more

Nothing here’s the same, it’s all a dream
Life on the movie screen
And I’m sitting on the edge of my seat

I can’t tell what happens next,
Just what I’ve seen
I don’t know what it means
But I’m holding on the edge of my seat

‘Cause I can’t forget your name,
Forget your name
Yeah I can’t forget you now
I know I can’t forget you, girl

I promise
Sit back buckle in and hold on tight
A roller coaster ride
And I’m holding on the edge of my seat

And I can’t know for sure
‘Cause I just landed on your shore
But I think you got nothing but another thing coming
If you think there’s nothing more
That there’s nothing more

At first glance, this seems to be an aimless song about being in love with a girl, and being excited about what happens next. And indeed, it may be, but we have to read (and listen) to the song in the context it was written (Jon was 20ish and dropping out of first year of college or so…). In this stage of life, there’s always much excitement mixed with other intense feelings and questions about life.

In the ripe young age of 20, the idealistic life (for most Westerners) seems promising and exciting. The chance to make of yourself what you’ve always longed to be, whether it be totally opposite of the way you were raised. The chance to establish you’re own values, pursue your own dreams and not some other adults dreams. The adventure of figuring out what it’s like to love and live. It’s a season of living on the edge of your seat. What’s next? Will it be like “life on the movie screen”? Will it be better, or worse?

I take from this song, especially at the end of it when it says, “And I can’t know for sure, ‘Cause I just landed on your shore, But I think you got nothing but another thing coming, If you think there’s nothing more, That there’s nothing more”, that there’s a cry out to those who think, at a young age, that there’s nothing more; not much to live for. To me, it’s a plea for the young apathetic guy/gal to hang in there, to realize that no matter what their story has been up to this point, that they just arrived on the shore of life, and there’s much more to be found in life.

So I say to the one who’s giving up, or is on the verge of giving up, “Keep hope alive, don’t give up, I promise, there’s more to this life. Stay on the edge of your seat!”

Weekly @Switchfoot Song: “Bomb”

The song Bomb (listen here; Tim Foreman kills it on the bass in this song!) is the first song of the first album of Switchfoot (The Legend of Chin, 1997) that came out my first year in college. In case you didn’t already know this about me, I’m a Switchfoot junkie, and have been listening to them since the beginning. I’ve always loved their creativity and willingness to write good songs and good music, and not give in to the pressure to have to label themselves “A Christian boy band”. Christian music has always been interesting to me since music can’t get saved, people do. It’s also interesting because we don’t have pro athletes making an all-Christian league… no, we have Christians who are really good athletes, and it should be the same for musicians, artists, engineers, businessmen and women, etc.

Anyways, enough of my soap box. I’ve been wanting to share a song a week from Switchfoot and go through their albums from the beginning until today, and share with you what they have meant to me as I listened to them. And I need to add, this is my opinion and my experience of these lyrics and songs, not Switchfoot’s. The beauty of music and art, is that it can mean many different things to different people. Here’s the lyrics to Bomb:

with blankness starring back at me
and screaming from the pages
i feel the fear of apathy
gripping me, pushing me
on top of everything
in the corner with a view
i turn off the fluorescent tubes

this is the bomb that i’ve been waiting for (looking for)
you finally lit the fuse
thats in my head
yes, you finally lit the fuse
thats in my head

with nothingness on top of me
and bleeding from my folder
who can stop the emptiness
don’t let it take me over

i’ve been sinking down
further into nothing
ive been waiting long
longer than for some things

this is the bomb that i’ve been waiting for (living for)
you finally lit the fuse
thats in my head
yes, you finally lit the fuse
thats in my head…

Since I share the same generation as the band, I remember the late 90’s in my life being one of asking questions (big questions, which Switchfoot was never afraid to ask). I have learned over the years of my life, in the joys and the pain, the questions and the answers, the interests and the apathy, that God loves these questions that are birthed from these moments. I’ve learned that God is big enough for my junk and can handle my doubt, my arguments, and my questions. I’ve learned to be okay with the season of “not-knowing” what the hell is going on in life.

Then, in the middle of my “hell”, my disbelief, my questions, a “bomb” goes off and I catch a small glimpse of the way things are supposed to be, or get a little bit of clarity in life, and for that season, I can see purpose and meaning. I can feel the passion that I once had, sneak into my life again, this time, a passion that’s a little more passionate and mature. I can see God’s kingdom more clearly, and many times, the bomb hurts… it reveals misconceptions of Christ, of the poor, of my enemies, of those who are different from me, and I am led to repentance as I watch my ego and pride be stripped away. Bombs usually blow up things they hit, and if we let them, God will use them to shape us into kingdom-people who care for the things God cares for.

You see, it’s in the “sinking down”, the “apathy”, the “blankness”, or “nothingness”, where God usually shows up to those who are looking for truth. I’ve never been encouraged as a youth to be okay with these emotions and seasons of life. This song offered that kind of freedom. Many of our motivations “not to feel” this way are birthed out of fear; fear of doubt and not having the right answers; fear of frayed edges and loose ends, etc… God’s okay with loose ends.

For now, I appreciate Bomb, and if you follow these posts in the future, you will see Switchfoot give you freedom to feel, to ask, to struggle, to cry, to rejoice, etc. This is a big reason why I love Switchfoot and appreciate their journey of displaying the beauty of God’s kingdom in new and fresh ways.