This is Part III of an interview with Caedmon’s Call as they
release their new worship CD, In the Company
of Angels II: The World Will Sing. Here is Part
I and Part
GL: I Surrender All is one of the hymns
you’ve updated for ICOA II. I am very
aware that I am not surrendered much at all. I don’t know if I can actually sing these words.
When you sing words like “worldly treasures all forsaken,”
what goes through your mind? I love worldly treasure and I have no intention of
giving up my money, my car, my home. If you don’t
mean giving up your money and car, then what do you mean?
You know Glenn, you can give up your
Hummer H3 anytime to me, buddy ole pal! HA! [Readers, if you believe I
actually own a Hummer, you don’t know many academics. ~GL]
I’ll gladly give up my ’93 Ford
Ranger 4 cylinder stick shift. Well, maybe not, since then I would have nothing
to drive, and then nothing to get me to a gig so I can make money and pay my
rent, feed my wife and pay for upkeep on my gear.
So, really, seriously, that’s the
point. Not the idea that God wants us to have nothing and live in a desert,
trusting solely on Him to provide, health, food, water, shelter, and safety.
After all, everything we have in this life is a gift from God. The fact that I
can have a studio in my home is a gift from God. I thank Him solely for that
opportunity and I realize that it comes with great responsibility. I have a
responsibility to utilize it to fulfill the visions he has placed in my head
and my heart.
We should all be willing to realize
that its not the things we have that
we should feel guilty about, it’s the times when we take them for granted
that’s a problem. We literally need
to be thankful to God in the way we think about those gifts. I realize that I
have things (that I love) for no other reason than but because God provided the
means to have them and without God’s love and grace shed on my sinful heart,
these things would never be.
I forsake these worldly treasures
for gratitude to God for allowing me to have them. That’s the point. Everything
is in how we look at it. God wants
our attention FIRST and foremost! It is essential. Our culture has an addiction or an obsession with
material possessions, and turns them into a kind of “idol.” Then we are in trouble. This song is a reminder
to me of what is important. It reboots my spirit, gives me clarity and focus
for my life again.
This song is a song that I, growing
up Southern Baptist, am all too familiar with. I thought having an ‘invitation’
at the end of a sermon meant singing I
Surrender All fifteen times.
I really had never paid attention
to the words of that song other than the title, but that is the problem with a
lot of great hymns that we are too familiar with, we become complacent with
them and their real impact is lost. In my life it seems more and more
necessary for me to remind and refresh myself of the truth found in Scripture
and sometimes old hymns such as this.
I heard a mentor of mine say that
we need to preach the gospel to ourselves as much as, if not more than, to
others, because we forget how much we need it and become distracted and
complacent with other things besides it. I think this is an important
element of corporate worship songs that sometimes gets neglected or
forgotten. Worship is giving God worth as well as reminding ourselves that
He is worthy. I believe a well written worship song should accomplish
both things. With I Surrender All, I
need to be reminded that although I don’t surrender all most of the time, I am
called to surrender all all of the