Stories Behind The Songs:
Live It Well

December 13, 2016 — Jon Foreman

We were playing shows for the troops stationed over in Japan when we heard the news: there had been a terrorist attack at a rock concert in Paris.

My head began to swim; I felt many things at once. I felt devastated for the loss of human life. I felt far from home. I missed my family. I felt a new sense of respect for the soldiers that we were here to play for: stationed here halfway around the world serving their country.

I went to my hotel room that night with more questions than answers. I began to think about the incredible, precious gift of life, and how short our time is here. My own days here on the planet are numbered, they’re an incredible gift and I want to treat them as such.

I thought of our mantra as a band, “life is short, I want to live it well.” The sentiment is rings true, but how do you “live it well” when you’re hurting? How do you “live it well” in a world full of hatred and violence?

So out of a heart-broken place I began to write a verse.

“take this burden from my arms.

take the anchors off my lungs

take me broken and make me one

take my silent and make it a song”

It’s a confession, really. I wanted to bring my these burdens of mine to the healer of souls, knowing that I cannot heal myself. And maybe living life well begins with confession. The word confess comes from the latin, confiteri “to acknowledge.” So maybe it’s time to fess up. Life’s too short to be inauthentic. Let’s put down the masks. Let’s stop pretending like everything is ok. Confess your questions, your doubts, your weakness, your fears. Confess your inadequacies. Bring your darkness into the light.

With this confession comes freedom. Freedom to be authentic. Freedom to embrace the life you’ve been given. Freedom to live a life of meaning and purpose, even against the backdrop of pain and disappointment, because the one who breathed you into existence loves you. Because the kingdom of the heavens is at hand.

Even in my limitations I am content. Why? Because the love of my maker is unlimited. Life is short, I want to live it well. – jon

Categories: Journal

  • Emily

    I absolutely love it, Jon. The first time I heard Live it Well it blew my mind away. I love your honesty when you write songs. It’s so inspiring to me, personally. Honesty seems to be one of the things missing in music these days…

  • Holly Thompson-Cobb

    Your words hit me right where I’m at today. This life can be rotten at times and wonderful at others. It is all about perspective and you reminded me of that with this song and the inspiration behind it. Once again I am reminded why I love Switchfoot.

  • Georgiana Cagle

    Just want to let you know that “I Won’t Let You Go” has really touched my heart. Have had such a struggle with trust and this song speaks to me in such a deep way. Thank you so much. I have loved the band for a long time and this has been just one more blessing from God through you.

  • Melanie

    My kids brought me into the Switchfoot world in 2000 with Learning to Breathe. (I guess knowing I was raised on the beaches of Cali, they thought it was a must! And I concur!) The journey with your music has been surprising and incredible. Over the years and albums, the music and lyrics birthed out of these raw, authentic questions and struggles have helped my own soul to grow in ways I never imagined. Thank you for transparency and the willingness to continue to be so. It is changing lives, calling us to love, commitment, hope and truth. Facing truth in ourselves. Don’t ever stop the journey! The changes you bring in the music are divine and inspirational. I hope you stay encouraged to grow and develop while “Learning to Breathe” one day at a time, and helping us to do so with you. Enjoyed the band and Relient K with my kids at Sunshine Theater in ABQ in Nov! Thank you!
    (Side note: this Cali girl is flying in to SD to be at my ocean for New Years. I love to give the first of my year to be alone with the One who “won’t let me go!” Here’s to “Living it Well” for the start of 2017 in worship and surrender by the sea!)
    “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.”~Isak Dinesen


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