Tony Rossi, Director of Communications, The Christophers
The Beautiful Things We Miss
“Pretty soon, the beautiful things we love will become the beautiful things we miss.” That’s a
lyric from singer-songwriter Matthew West’s latest album, “All In,” but it’s also an epiphany the
40-year-old husband and father experienced while taking stock of his life, an epiphany that’s
impacting how he approaches the future on a personal and spiritual level.
During a “Christopher Closeup” interview, West credited the reflective nature of this album to
“what this season of life looks like…My wife and I celebrated 14 years of marriage. We have two daughters that are 11 and 8 years old. Life’s going by pretty quickly, and I think I’ve had this internal aching that says, ‘This is going by too fast. How can I make the most of every moment that God gives me?'”
That’s the mindset West brought to the above-quoted song, “The Beautiful Things We Miss.” Its message haunted him. He said, “It was written from the perspective of me looking into the future and saying: How could my life look if I don’t go all in as a husband and a father, if I’m more focused on building my career? This song became a prayer for me, saying, ‘I don’t want to miss the moments in front of me.’…I had a feeling there’s a lot of other dads out there feeling that same way, wondering if we’re going to get to the end of it all and go, ‘I missed it! I was focused on the wrong thing and I missed the beautiful things that were in my life.'”
The concept of going “All In” regarding both family and faith is dealt with most directly in the title track, which conveys a radical surrender to God’s will. West notes that he grew up in church and has been a committed Christian for a long time. So long, in fact, that he was taking God a little for granted.
He explained that he wants to get back to “remembering that moment when I first realized, ‘I want to follow Jesus. I want to live my life for a bigger purpose and have a greater impact in the world.’…I’ve checked a lot of the boxes that make me look the part of a good Christian, but I think sometimes we fall in love with looking the part and maybe forget about living the part. This album is about having those two begin to line up...[God] has gone ‘all in’ for me, and I don’t want to hold anything back from Him anymore.”
For West, not holding anything back means offering God his flaws as well, an issue he deals with on the track “Broken Things.” The lyrics include: “The pages of history, they tell me it’s true / That it’s never the perfect; it’s always the ones with the scars that You use / It’s the rebels and the prodigals; it’s the humble and the weak / The misfit heroes You chose tell me there’s hope for sinners like me.”
West said that he always assumed God only wanted to use his talents and abilities, but he came to feel God asking for “the most broken parts of your life, the biggest struggles you face, your weakest moments” so that He can shine through those as well. “Because that’s when we really go all in,” West concluded. “Not when we give God part of our hearts, but when we give God every single part of our lives.”
For free copies of the Christopher News Note FINDING YOUR PATH HOME TO GOD, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org