This year at Going Further we were lucky enough to receive teaching from Darryl Tempero on spiritual practices. So many of us were greatly encouraged and inspired by what Darryl shared with us, and as he had to leave before camp finished, we wanted to come up with a way of thanking him for his input at Going Further. Darryl had also been encouraging those of us who are musical, so it seemed fitting to pay tribute in song.
When we started talking about what we thought the song should be about, we were reminded of one of the first Bible passages that Darryl had used to introduce spiritual practices to us – Jesus’ Baptism. His point was that God loved Jesus even before he had done anything. “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
Because it was 11pm, we were exhausted from four days of camp, and Darryl was leaving the next morning, we were keen to rework words from somewhere, rather than coming up with something new. Conveniently, Cate had written a poem when she had left her home church in Katikati to do a ministry internship elsewhere. We felt the sentiment of this poem was appropriate for our purposes, and so we set about rearranging it. You can read the original poem here.
For the verses, we took the first two lines from each of Cate’s longer verses, picking up on the language of feet and hearts. We thought this was appropriate for our context because the focus of Going Further is discipleship, and putting our faith into action – following with our feet and our hearts. (growing our hearts for God?)
When it came to verse three, we ran in to some difficulty putting Cate’s words to music, as the phrase was too long – ‘These homebound feet will follow the One who knows the way’. In John 14:6, Jesus says ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’, and so Cate’s ‘One who knows the way’ became ‘follow The Way’.
We find that, as Christians, we can forget some of the fundamental truths of our faith. Recent events in our own lives have certainly made this true for us. The repetition of the refrain is representative of our own renewed awareness of our own need to be constantly reminded of these things in our own lives.
- Blessed – Darryl’s idea is that when you’re blessing someone, you are speaking out that they are God’s Beloved.
- Loved – Darryl reminded us that the love God has for us is different to any other love we experience – beyond human qualifiers such as ‘how’ and ‘how much’.
- Belong – the community building part of Going Further reminded us that we belong in God’s Kingdom no matter where we are.
We’ll be honest in that it feels strange to write about the ‘process’ of writing this song – because, as we mentioned earlier, it was a product of tired minds that quickly reached the same wavelength thanks to much input over four days. Thanks to the grace of God and the inspiration of the Spirit, we were able to pull it together in an hour or so, and it has been a great blessing to us. Looking back at the meaning of the song to us personally, it’s amazing to see how God can work in and through us – even when we’re not aware of it.
We’re grateful to Sam Bennett who helped us to work through some instrumentation, as well as recording the song so that it can be shared. We’re also grateful to Malcolm and Darryl for their encouragement not only in this instance, but over a number of years as we have grown as followers of Christ and musicians in this faith community.