It felt really good to write a new song this week. I've been writing a bit here and there - additional choruses to hymns and new melodies to hymn lyrics, etc. But this is only the second completed song, lyrics and melody, that I've written since we moved to Florida. I'm not sure if it's been a bit of writer's block, a major transition, lack of mental space, fear, or what, but I'm grateful to exercise this craft once again. 

I've been meditating on Matthew 16:26 for the past month: "And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?" 
(New Living Translation)

I started playing around with a melodic and lyrical idea on Tuesday, and then revisited it yesterday afternoon. I remembered the Jim Elliot quote: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." I put those two ideas together and wrote the first draft of lyrics. 

At that point I felt comfortable sharing it with Allison. She is always my first reference because I trust her ear, and because she will give me an honest evaluation. She liked it. So then I spent my entire morning run at the gym fine-tuning the lyrics in my head. That's how I work. 

The gist of the song is learning to give up the illusion that we are in control of our lives. It's about a daily dying to self. We can so readily turn to various idols and addictions, hoping they will bring us the peace and joy that only God can provide... but they never will. Whenever we turn toward these lesser things, we turn away from God. And these idols and addictions eat away at our soul, little by little, so that we begin to lose the very person we were created to be. 

Personally, the past two and half years have been a transformational season of trusting God - doing the footwork and then leaving the outcome to Him. It's amazing how much easier life becomes when I'm not trying to manage everything myself! Today, I live full of gratitude for the many blessings in my life. I try to walk each day in step with God - listening, discerning and trusting that He will lead me into "the next right thing," one day at a time. 

I plan to write a second verse, chart the song, record a demo, rehearse it with our band, and then introduce it to our church in the coming weeks. God is good.

Words and Music by Paxson Jeancake, 2016

Inspired by Jim Elliot and Matthew 16:26

What does it profit me, Lord, to gain the whole world
But lose my soul, lose my soul along the way?
Why would I choose to turn my back on you
And leave my God, leave my God for lesser things?

So I'm laying down my life
And lifting up my eyes
They're fixed on you, fixed on you

I'm gonna give what I can't keep to gain what I can't lose,
Take up my cross and follow you.
Learning to surrender control,
Trusting you to make me whole.
Each day I'm gonna give what I can't keep
To gain what I can't lose.


Jonathan Culley said…
Looking forward to hearing it and singing it!
Debbie Blenis said…
Love it and look forward to playing and singing it.
Lauren Hunter said…
Can't wait to hear it, Paxson. Love the lyrics thus far.

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