by David Dunn
I love this song for many reasons, one being that a good friend of mine led me to it. Another is that it has a good beat and is great fun to play on the cajon, which is currently my favorite instrument and one that I MUST GET. SOON. But that’s not what we’re talking about at the moment.
In addition to having great sentimental meaning to me, this song is important because it’s incredibly thought-provoking. I mean, think about it. What would you do if your heart stopped beating?
The first verse sounds like it’s talking about the end of the world, not just death. The sun doesn’t stop burning when you die, and neither do trees wither.
What does the pre-chorus mean, though? “If your heart stopped nonstop.” That doesn’t make much sense, does it? But it does. Have you ever seen a movie where a person’s heart stopped beating and they were dead for a moment, but then someone administered CPR or something and brought them back to life? Like the TV show LOST, Charlie’s heart stopped and Jack brought him back to life by pounding on him. (Way to go, Doc.) His heart DID stop beating, for a moment. But that wasn’t real death. It was just unconsciousness. He wasn’t dead yet, even though his heart wasn’t beating for a few moments. I think that the pre-chorus of this song, the addition of the word “nonstop,” implies that there’s no coming back this time. You’re really and truly dead.
The chorus gives so much to think about. Dying is really the end of all you know. You don’t know what it’s like to be dead. You don’t know what heaven’s like. All you know is what you’ve seen here on earth, and very few people that have been truly dead have come back (and I’m not talking about Agent Coulson here…sorry, Phil, you’re fictional).
Pretend you’ve just died. Look back at what you’ve done in your life. So what about it? Has the life you’ve just stopped living left anything to show? Did you do anything truly meaningful in your lifetime? Anything worthy of note and remembrance? Or was it all wasted on meaningless pleasures and things of this earth that account for nothing in eternity?
The second verse gives you a little more to consider. I love that first line, “If the heart that pulsed within you.” It’s a really beautiful line and it brings sparks of pleasure to my brain. So if you lived like time was short, if you did everything you could to make a difference in this world, would more people turn to Jesus? Would they realize the truth about the God you serve (or don’t serve)? Would they see Him in you?
The bridge is brilliant. “Tell me what you’d do if you knew this for sure, that every breath that you breathe will be accounted for. Would it make a difference if you knew that all your life is being seen by the Maker of all?”
So tell me. What would you do? The Lord is not a blind God. He can see you, every moment of the day, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. You can’t get away from Him. And He’s going to judge you for your actions at the end of time. Does knowing that make a difference to you? Does it change the way you will choose to live your life?
“But they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” ~ 1 Peter 4:5