Switchfoot Vice Verses album cover

In September 2011, Switchfoot released the album Vice Verses. In my opinion, they saved the best for last.

Track 12 is entitled "Where I Belong" and, despite strong competition, this song is by far my favorite on the CD.

In fact, it has stirred my heart in a special way, so I wanted to share some thoughts the song triggered.

If you haven't heard the tune, I recommend you listen to it before you read further.

Here are the song's lyrics:

Feeling like a refugee
Like it don't belong to me
The colors flash across the sky

This air feels strange to me
Feeling like a tragedy
Take a deep breath and close my eyes
One last time

Storms on the wasteland
Dark clouds on the plains again
We were born into the fight

But I'm not sentimental
This skin and bones in a rental
And no one makes it out alive

Until I die I'll sing these songs
On the shores of Babylon
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

Where the weak are finally strong
Where the righteous right the wrongs
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

Feels like we're just waiting, waiting
While our hearts are just breaking, breaking
Feels like we're fighting against the tide

I wanna see the earth start shaking
I wanna see a generation
Finally waking up inside

Until I die I'll sing these songs
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

This body's not my own
This world is not my own
But I can still hear the sound
Of my heart beating out
So let's go boys, play it loud

On the final day I die
I want to hold my head up high
I want to tell You that I tried
To live it like a song

And when I reach the other side
I want to look You in the eye
And know that I've arrived
In a world where I belong

Where I belong

I still believe we can live forever
You and I we begin forever now
Forever now
Forever
I still believe in us together
You and I we're here together now
Together now
Together now
Forever now
Forever now

Forever

Pilgrims and Refugees

Christians who are familiar with GOD's word know well that their role in this world is that of a pilgrim—nomads, refugees.

From the moment of The Fall, things have gone terribly wrong in this world. The majority of GOD's crowning creation choose to walk the broad way that leads to destruction.

For the few of us who choose the narrow path, the journey grows weary at times. We must press on without full, satisfying rest, until our time here is over.

Sure, Jesus offers true rest and I'm not attempting to downplay it, but in many ways the road of the Christian is harder than that of the non-Christian. If it weren't, everyone would be a Christian.

As we grow spiritually, we begin to see this world more as GOD sees it—as a stormy wasteland filled with lost and wandering souls.

When will I finally reach the place to which I'm traveling where all is made new and I can finally feel at home? Oh LORD, how long?

This world is focused on gratifying ourselves, immediately, and making ourselves feel good. It's all about the moment. Right now and only right now.

The pressure to give in is seamingly unbearable at times and even the strongest falls prey to it on occasion. After all, you only live once—that's the world's message.

And so we don't belong here.

Oh how we know this truth so well!

Eternity feels so far off because we can't even imagine living in a world where things aren't messed up like they are here. It's all we've ever known. But something deep inside burns to experience it—you knows that it's out there...you can feel it.

As far back as Abraham, GOD's children have been longing for this place beyond this world to call their home:

8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
(Heb. 11:8-10 NIV)

Singing in Babylon

When GOD's people were in captivity in the land of Babylon, the Babylonians asked them to sing some of their songs of their homeland, Zion.

The songs of Zion were created to be happy, upbeat expressions of praise and joy.

But now the thought of singing those songs while they were downcast was the ultimate slap in the face, for what joy could be found while their home was so far away?

Consider the thoughts of Psalm 137:

1 By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down and wept,
When we remembered Zion.
2 Upon the willows in the midst of it
We hung our harps.
3 For there our captors demanded of us songs,
And our tormentors mirth, saying,
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

4 How can we sing the LORD’S song
In a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
May my right hand forget
her skill.
6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
If I do not remember you,
If I do not exalt Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.

7 Remember, O LORD, against the sons of Edom
The day of Jerusalem,
Who said, “Raze it, raze it
To its very foundation.”
8 O daughter of Babylon, you devastated one,
How blessed will be the one who repays you
With the recompense with which you have repaid us.
9 How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones
Against the rock.

(Psalm 137:1-9 NASB)

And so it is that we sit here singing the songs of our day as we long for our homeland—heaven.

We're so far away and it's hard at times to sing with joy because we're in a foreign land under oppression.

What we've got to hold on to, though, is the promise that we will be able to go back home one day. And unlike the Jews of captivity, once we return home there will be no more death or separation from GOD.

Oh to Hear "Well Done..."

My life's greatest desire is to be close to my GOD—my awesome Father, my friend Jesus and the Spirit, but my second greatest desire is for Him to tell me, "Well done...I'm proud of you. You did it! You are victorious. Enter in. Look what I've got prepared for you."

As I type these words my mind reflects on the truth that GOD already knew I would type them, at this very moment, and He knows perfectly the deepest longings of my heart, and that gives me an overwhelming sense of comfort and peace.

It brings tears to my eyes to feel His tender touch and gentle voice, by faith. And I suppose that's the point of all of this—for the time being, we're limited to experience by faith, but one day—and oh for that day—the faith will become sight.

And so the final verse of the song touches my heart in a special way as it speaks to my deepest desires:

On the final day I die
I want to hold my head up high
I want to tell You that I tried
To live it like a song

And when I reach the other side
I want to look You in the eye
And know that I've arrived
In a world where I belong

Where I belong

When my time is over here on earth, I do want to feel as Paul felt, that I have finished the race and kept the faith.

Every person has a different course to run, for we all start at different places, but for the Christian there is one final ending point—a place where all roads lead...

Home.

A place where I belong.

Finally.

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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