Oswald Chambers wrote in My Utmost For His Highest: “Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow concerns of life are not ordained of God; they are as much of God as the profound. It is not your devotion to God that makes you refuse to be shallow, but your wish to impress other people with the fact that you are not shallow. Beware of posing as a profound person; God became a Baby. Our safeguard is in the shallow things. We have to live the surface common-sense life in a common-sense way. The tendency is to look for the marvelous in our experience; but another thing to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, no one paying attention to us. It takes God’s Spirit in us to make us so His, that we are unnoticeable.”
That’s the devotional message of “Do Everything,” a great new song from Steven Curtis Chapman. No matter what you are doing, do everything for the glory of God. I’ve been listening to Steven’s songs for the past 20 years, and this song really reminds me of some of his previous hit songs like “The Great Adventure”, “Dive” and “Live Out Loud.” I immediately identified with the style and message of the song.
On Steven Curtis Chapman’s whopping 17th album, re:creation, he serves up six new songs, including the debut hit single, “Do Everything,” and breathes new life into some of his most memorable and popular songs with re-imagined approaches and all new recordings. More than three years have passed since the Chapmans’ horrific loss when on May 21, 2008, Steven’s youngest daughter, Maria, was killed in a tragic accident. Since then, Steven has sensed people waiting to see how he and his family were faring in the wake of the tragedy and what the next step in his musical evolution would be.
“I felt like this was an opportunity for me to tell people that my family and I really do feel like God is recreating some things in us,” he said. “Last year was so hard, with Mary Beth writing her book and our family doing the tour. It was our year to say, ‘Okay, we’re going to stand on faith and hold onto each other.’ That’s when the full force of the pain started to hit us.
“But now, in 2011, by God’s grace we really have the sense we are beginning to see the sunrise. As the song says, ‘joy is coming in the morning!’ We feel like morning is really starting to break for us and we’re beginning to sense there is new life starting to sprout. The real morning is still yet to come when we finally get to see Maria again in heaven, but as a family and individually we’re beginning to feel like there’s oxygen coming back into our lungs.”
I had the great opportunity to interview Steven about his hit song, “Do Everything,” which is an upbeat song about serving God in everything we do.
Please tell me the personal story behind writing this song.
I actually started writing this song for my album, This Moment, in 2006. This was a song where I wanted to encourage people to not believe the fallacy that they need to be somebody famous to do something great for God’s Kingdom. People who just sweep floors, or change diapers or change tires, Scripture reminds us that everything we do can be seen as an act of worship. We were created to do everything for the glory of God. God doesn’t see us through the same lens that we look at ourselves.
What we consider important and mundane is not how God sees us. I was reading My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers, and he wrote about how we make visits to the mountaintops and also we walk through deep, deep valleys. Certainly my family has walked through valleys lately. I’ve also walked on incredible mountaintops. And as Oswald Chambers said, most of life is lived on wide, flat plains. There’s nothing spectacularly good or bad; we’re just living life and doing the best we can. Do everything as an act of worship. That’s the story behind the song. I had cut one version of it, but it didn’t seem quite finished--either musically it didn’t have the proper emotion, or I hadn’t finished the lyrics to tell the whole story.
As I began to think about this recording, I knew I wanted to re-create some songs, as my own songs have taken on deeper meaning for me with new depth and purpose. Particularly, in a way this is me being able to go backwards in order to go forwards--taking what I’ve always done and make songs that are relevant for people.
Please tell me about the Bible verses that you used to write the song.
1 Corinthians 10:31: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
What do you consider to be the takeaway message for listeners?
I wanted to make a song that was fun and would get people tapping their steering wheels and carrying the message with them through the day. This is a return to those types of fun songs I’ve sung in the past, but for me and my family it’s a step forward. We’re smiling again as a family and there’s a new sense of joy coming back into our hearts and a new wind in our sails. We’ve had these epic re-defining moments and it’s refreshing to write a song about our daily faith journey. I want to encourage my friends at this moment. As Christians we have this tendency to want to draw that line down the middle of life and go, okay there’s my spiritual life and then there’s just life--a job, work, and that kind of thing--but God is in the details. He’s interested in all of it. Every moment matters, and everything we do really should be done as an act of worship.
Here are the lyrics:
You’re picking up toys on the living room floor for the fifteenth time today
Matching up socks
Sweeping up lost cheerios that got away
You put a baby on your hip
Color on your lips and head out the door
While I may not know you,
I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes, does it matter at all?
Well let me remind you, it all matters just as long
As you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you,
Cause He made you,
Every little thing that you do
To bring a smile to His face
Tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do
Maybe you’re that guy with the suit and tie
Maybe your shirt says your name
You may be hooking up mergers
Cooking up burgers
But at the end of the day
In between stuff
God sees it all the same
While I may not know you
I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes, does it matter at all?
Maybe you’re sitting in math class
Or maybe on a mission in the Congo
Or maybe your working at the office
Singing along with the radio
Maybe you’re a down and out rock star
Or feeding orphans in the Myanmar
Anywhere and everywhere that you are
I wasn’t saved until I was 28 years old in 1999, and my wife and I got baptized together in 2001 at a local lake with our church congregation. When we did, we wrote out the entire lyrics of Steven’s song “Dive” in our scrapbook. That was our story, and Steven had put our story into a song that we could give as our testimony to our friends and relatives. At the time, we had one baby girl, and now we have three girls. We preserved our handwritten lyrics as a witness to our story being told in his great song.
I’ve always connected with Steven as a father and as a fellow believer over the years. I really enjoy the joyfulness of “Do Everything.” I can relate to the lyrics, and this song relates to every listener in some way. We all need encouragement and we all need to be built up. This song is a great return to Steven’s past fun-style songs, and is filled with the biblical Truth of 1 Corinthians 10:31 – “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Amen to that!
(You can watch the music video here.)
Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ.