Ok, so I like Switchfoot.  Really like Switchfoot.  And it’s not just because I have inclinations believing Jon Foreman is bipolar.Sherry and I have said repeatedly that Switchfoot is the soundtrack of our lives together.  ALL their albums.  Going all the way back to A New Way to Be Human (back in the nineties!)  Our last hurrah vacation before Caleb was born was our trip to Knottsberry Farms for a New Year’s Eve Switchfoot concert bringing in 2004.

This new album rocks.  Literally and metaphorically.  I was blasting it in my car driving the kids to school and even they kept saying to turn it up (I didn’t as loud as I would have liked, to save them).

Air1 beat me to this post on Switchfoot’s new album by putting “Afterlife” in their playlist.  I really appreciate the way they look at life as Christ followers and how they put their message in a relatable format that even makes you think about what they’re saying.  I must say my disclaimer that I don’t often hear them come out and say Jesus is God, or even belt out His name in interviews and concerts, but it may be a calling so as to reach more of a mainstream audience that would resist that.  I can’t judge, but if given the platform they’ve bbeen given, I couldn’t help but to share Jesus as Lord and as Saviour and as THE way to liffe (and afterlife) as this song indicates.  (vintage Tim Tebow or Jeremy Lin?)

Afterlife, the Kingdom of God, eternity, however you want to phrase what Jesus ushered us into, began.  It began when He ascended and it begins in us when we truly make Him Lord of our lives and live for Him first and foremost.  Granted after-life indicates the life after the one we are in, but I truly believe afterlife begins after we turn the leaf over and die to ourselves, beginning to live for what matters: Jesus and His kingdom (which includes other people, injustice, caring for creation, etc.)

I’ve tasted fire, I’m ready to come alive
I can’t just shut it up, and fake that I’m alright
I’m ready now, I’m not waiting for the afterlife
I let it burn the way that sunlight burns my skin
The way I feel inside, the way the day begins
I’m ready now, I’m not waiting for the other side
I’m ready now, I’m ready now……….

Man, I’ve felt like I’m not alright.  I’ve wanted to just go to heaven and be with Jesus without the pain, sin and seemingly unbearable challenges that exist in our world.  But God hasn’t taken me home yet.  Understand heaven isn’t the afterlife – that is where there is no more pain, sin and so on.  But eternity, the Kingdom and the afterlife has begun, especially if you’ve died & rose with Jesus (Phil. 3)

*CHORUS*
Cuz everyday, the world is made
A chance to change, but I feel the same
And I wonder, why would I wait till I die to come alive?
I’m ready now, I’m not waiting for the afterlife

Why would I wait to die to come alive?  I don’t want to wait for the afterlife, I want to live today, each moment, and use what God has given me for His glory.  Part of that is suffering, part of that is most selfless actions and part of it is finding joy in what He’s granted us.  I often wonder how folks in other countries can find that joy, but believe me, I’ve seen it.  In fact, when I was in Thailand at an orphanage, not only did I feel somewhat guilty because of all I have, but because I don’t have the same joy and appreciation they do.  They eat on the floor, rice every meal, live with 50 other people in humid conditions where they aren’t as “blessed” as we are (materially and privilege-wise, at least).  I want to be ready NOW, not waiting.  Sometimes it’s tough and other times it’s right before me.

VERSE:
I still believe we can live forever
You and I we begin forever now
Forever now
I still believe in us together
You and I we’re here together now
Forever now, forever now
Or never now

We CAN life forever.  In a world that sees only right before themselves and not in an afterlife, we have the privilege of proclaiming there is one and it begins now.  It’s the best of both worlds.  We get to live forever & you get to live now.  Some might say, “Yeah, but I can’t . . . ”  But you CAN!  Look at all you CAN do and live for.  What a privilege!  Live is meant to be had and lived.  It’s true for folks with disabilites and it’s true for babies who don’t get to take their first breath.  Live is meant to be lived.  Forever.  And forever begins now.

Every day, a choice is made
Every day, I chose my fate
And I wonder, why would I wait till I die to come alive?
To come alive?
Every day, every day, every day, I still feel the same
And I wonder, why would I wait till I die to come alive?
I’m ready now, I’m not waiting for the afterlife…

We choose.  We choose everything.  How we live, what we say, what we eat and what we do.  Now, I must say as an evangelical Christian and follower of Jesus and believer in the Bible being a divine Word of God where He has revealed Himself: hell is real.  I’ve used the term seriously, “this last year has been hell,” and while I mean that, I really have no idea how grave hell is.  Folks live in hell for eternity, but if they really knew what it is, they wouldn’t choose to.  That decision is crucial life forever, but the decision is made here and now, in this life, before the afterlife.

I find tremendous hope in this message.  Hope that this life, no matter how tough it can be, is an opportunity to live.  And to know that this life is connected to the afterlife is a whole other hope that I place tremendous joy in.  No matter how difficult things are today, or tomorrow, there’s hope that God is present and will grant us a perspective of joy, love, peace and hope both to get through, enjoy, and live forever…in the afterlife.

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