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





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