Something I wrote a couple years ago, but still holds true …
A number of years ago, I discovered the Christian Music group THIRD DAY and have been loving them ever since. I will be seeing them in concert for the first time next month in Ontario.
I seem to feel a special connection beyond their lyrics that come off as Christian poetry, and their sweet Southern Rock sound that takes me home. And as I look back over the last 5-6 years of my life I start to find that connection with Third Day. Like a good friend, they always seem to be there with a message I need to hear at that particular time.
Some of those instances …
After spending several years letting my career drag me away from attending church on a regular basis, I was finding my way back, listening to Air1 radio and kept hearing Third Day’s “Come on back to Me” what seemed like every hour on the hour. I went back to Magnolia Ave. Baptist that week only to have the guest speaker preach on the Prodigal son.
A year or so later, my Father, who lived on the other side of the country, suffered a stroke, and I was unable to see him for several months. Not long after that his mother, who was also in West Virginia, passed away. I found myself on a red-eye flight to Ohio and a three-hour drive into West Virginia, listening to Third Day the whole way. The “Wherever you are” album had just come out and I listened to that CD over and over and found a common theme of Hope and Inspiration throughout the album, including their hit “Cry out to Jesus.” I managed to make it through a rough week with a funeral and some quality time with my Dad.
In 2007, just as I was ready to go back and buy some of Third Day’s older albums, they released a pair of Chronology albums with songs from their first 10 years. I drive by myself most of the time and have a habit of turning the music up loud and singing along. It was while I was enjoying these albums that included live shows of their worship songs, that I got news that my Father’s health had taken a turn for the worse. I again found myself on a red-eye flight to Ohio and a lengthy car ride to West Virginia. I spent the better part of a month in West Virginia watching my Dad slowly fade away. Listening to Third Day’s music became my way to cope. One night on a trip from Ohio to West Virginia I broke down emotionally while trying to sing along with the CD, I actually had to pull the car over. and it wasn’t the song I thought it would be.
Third Day had a live version of “Blessed Assurance,” my Father’s favorite Hymn, but that wasn’t what triggered the breakdown it was “Creed.” With the lyrics “And I believe what I believe, is what makes me what I am.” I came to the conclusion that I believe what I believe because my Father believed what he believed. After that night I was able to make it through the week and was at peace a week later when my Father passed.
The following spring, Third Day released a new album “Revelation,” filled with songs about finding your place and what God has planned for you. Still at a loss following my Father’s death, which occurred 20 years after my Mother’s, I found myself looking for God to do something special. It was more than me looking, I had a sense that something was on the horizon, I just knew something was going to happen and could not wait. I was looking for a glimpse, for a … Revelation. In a year of constant change, despite layoffs, downsizing and furloughs, I managed to stay positive and even managed to stay employed as my chosen profession began to spiral downward.
Recently I have taken stock in my life, while also reflecting on the lives of my parents. I have had so many conversations with people over the years about how my parents helped shape their lives. Twenty years after her passing, the mention of my Mom’s name brought together two people on a Mission trip in Cambodia. For too long I have let my career define me and rule my life and I am looking to shed that image and make a difference in my world.
As I struggle to find my place, I prepare to head to a concert with Third Day, Toby Mac (another one of my favorites) and Michael W. Smith. Almost on cue, Third Day will drop a new album that week titled “Move.” I have heard two tracks off the new CD, “Lift up your face (Salvation is calling your name)” and “Make your Move.” … Well, that sounds about right.
Since I wrote this, Third Day has released another album, “Miracle.” Once again filling my head with their trademark Southern sound, speaking such great Truth with their lyrics.