We all need some inspiration on this journey we call life. Inspiration comes in many forms. For me, music inspires me. I singalong very loud when I’m happy and I cling to the words of the lyrics when I am sad or going through a difficult time in my life. Although most people look to the pop charts for the latest music, I have often been drawn to good Christian songs that have something to say to my soul. I have heard many Contemporary Christian Music Artists in my lifetime but no one has inspired me as much as Steven Curtis Chapman.
There are times I have heard all the same songs and needed something new and refresh to revive me. Most often, these have been the times that Chapman releases a new song. It always seems to be very timely for that moment in my life.
I met Steven Curtis Chapman for the first time on Tuesday Night at the book signing for his biography – “Between Heaven and the Real World”. I told him how much his music has inspired me and his work has blessed me over the years. When I returned home and started reading the book, it was one of those that I didn’t want to put down. I have learned already that we have had similar childhood experiences and that he is indeed a real person like me.
Some of my all-time favorite songs by Chapman are:
- Warrior (from the “War Room” soundtrack)
- Live Out Loud
- Do Everything
- Let Us Pray
- Great Adventure
- Love Take Me Over
- For The Sake of the Call
- Be Still And Know
- I Do Believe
I told him that probably the CD I completely wore out the most was the “Speechless” album. I did. I played it so much that I totally wore out the disc and had to get a new one. While I grew up singing the old Southern Gospel Hymns, I have to admit that I love to jam with the more modern music. I was often criticized for it because the songs sounded too “worldly” for some people. There was a time I played music as people arrived for church and sometimes I played some Steven Curtis Chapman to the annoyance of some who preferred the old time gospel music.
“The long awaited rains have fallen hard upon the thirsty ground/And carved their way to where the wild and rushing river can be found/And like the rains/I have been carried to where the river flows, yeah/My heart is racing/And my feet are weak/As I walk to the edge/I know there is no turning back/Once my feel have left the ledge/And in the rush I hear a voice that’s telling me to take a leap of faith/So here I go……” (Opening lyrics to Dive)
Chapman has been writing songs and performing since 1987. He has won Grammys for his songs as well as several Dove awards from the Gospel Music Association (GMA).
Chapman’s inspiring songwriting from his own experiences resonate with many who listen to his songs. Many have also be touched and comforted from his experience of losing their five-year-old daughter, Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman in a freak accident. Since Maria’s unexpected death, Chapman’s wife, Mary Beth, has written and released a book about the experience called “Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope”.
Although we look at people like Chapman as “stars” we also see that they are real people living in the same world as we do. Their inspiration becomes our inspiration because we can identify with the music. I am thankful for people that write from the heart like Chapman and shares his soul with us because we are all in this “Great Adventure” together.