My Life’s Playlist: Twenty Four

In honor of my muse, music, I will be featuring the songs highest on my inspiration list. Today’s feature song is Twenty Four, by Switchfoot.

When Switchfoot came out with their debut album, Beautiful Letdown, in 2003, I had no idea who they were. I’m like that a lot with bands. I’ll hear a couple songs on the radio I like, look up the band, and find out I love every song of theirs on the radio. Train is the greatest example of that, and it took me over 5 years to know who they actually were. Train is one of my top favorite bands of all time, and every album they come out with I eat up like Rita’s in July.

Switchfoot, however, only kept me for this one album. It was a magical one, don’t get me wrong. This was one of the first CDs I ever bought with my own money. But the beauty of their work faded as they went into a more twangy, bluegrass, gospel style in later albums.

This particular song is by far my favorite. This is where they hit the perfect balance between a basic, beautiful melody, and their spiritual theme without overpowering one or the other. The lyrics are repetitive in the most even-keel way, not in-your-face or beat-in-your-head, just rhythmic. The undertones of spirituality are vague enough that anyone can appreciate them. The simple images here strike me every time, especially the lines, “I want to see miracles,/ to see the world change./ I wrestled the angel/ for more than a name./ For more than a feeling,/ for more than a cause.”

I think we all have not only our devils to wrestle, but our angels as well. We may want to do the best good we can, but best for who? And can we hold ourselves back enough to be good and not boast and brag? This idea is one of the things I talk about in my view of god, the idea of god as the neutral and both good and evil as the balancing act which we are stuck being tugged between. We’ll tilt either one way or the other, but eventually we’ll just fall off, and the neutrality of god can encompass us. Besides, if you do not experience both good and evil, how can you know or appreciate the serenity of neutrality?

wrestle an angel

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