New Song: “The Man Who Sold the World”

December 30, 2009

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” – G.K. Chesterton

I spent a couple of days around Christmas writing and recording this rather confessional song called “The Man Who Sold the World.” (Press the play button below or click here to open in a separate window.)

I had in mind Jesus’ words from Mark 8:36-37 (and parallels): “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” The person who “sells” the world, in other words, is the one who exchanges the world’s superficial pleasures and values for a life in God. I greatly admire the person who can do it, but I’m sympathetic with Chesterton’s words above. I have a strong conviction that Jesus’ way is the way to true life, and I’ve experienced it, however fleetingly, in fits and starts, on this side of eternity, but it’s incredibly difficult to live out. I want to do it, but it’s a daily, hourly, moment-by-moment struggle. Fortunately, God’s grace prevails: “You are not the sum of your mistakes/ What breaks you is a blessing/ If you could see it from God’s eyes.”

The words are as follows:

You are not the sum of your mistakes

What breaks you is a blessing

If you could see it from God’s eyes

As you stop and and wonder at the man who sold the world

At the man who sold the world

Write me in the margin of the text

Next to you I’m nothing except what I will be

Everybody will see the wonder of the man who sold the world

Of the man who sold the world

Bridge:

It’s a childhood panorama, taking it all in

It’s a sin to let it all go by

And why do I make the same mistake

I try and I break

You are always there like a prayer

You are not the center of this space

Racing to tomorrow like there never was today

Slow down and see the wonder

Like the man who sold the world

Like the man who sold the world

You are not the jury or the judge

Begrudging them they’re happy

Like they stole the missing part

Look in your heart and wonder

At the man who sold the world

At the man who sold the world

I recorded this on my Mac using GarageBand. I played all the instruments (the drums are from one of GarageBand’s built-in loops), including the Hammond B3-sounding keyboard part (via MIDI), and sang lead. (The keyboard was a Christmas gift!) My friend Michael Hester added the harmony vocal.

One Response to “New Song: “The Man Who Sold the World””

  1. Lisa Says:

    Love the song, Brent. Keep them coming.


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