john mayer sings about life’s brevity


It seems like just yesterday I said, “Wow, Easter is only five weeks away.” Now it’s over. Another day, another weekend, another holiday…come and gone. You know, there are certain lucid moments when you realize how life has a way of racing by at breakneck speed. I just had one. Sometimes it’s hard to take. Especially when you realize there is no way of slowing things down.

When you’re young, you don’t want to slow it down. In the naiveté of youth, the tendency is to want to go faster. You wish time away. “I wish I was old enough to drive.” “I wish I was out of school.” I wish this, that and the other thing. Now, I wish I hadn’t wished so much. Why? Because, it takes you out of the moment. It keeps you from savoring the days and experiences God gives to you. Maybe that is what David is getting at when he writes these lyrics to an ancient song,

Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life…Each man’s life is but a breath.

Still today, songs are being written about the brevity of life. I came across such a tune recently. Musician and recording artist, John Mayer writes a song, which in my opinion, reflects an insightful, even biblical, view of life. I have no reason to believe Mayer is a man of faith, but he certainly seems to have acquired some degree of wisdom and insight, especially about the pace of life.

The song is entitled, “Stop This Train.” Here are the lyrics.

No, I’m not colorblind
I know the world is black and white
Try to keep an open mind
But I just can’t sleep on this tonight

Stop this train
I wanna get off
And go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can
But honestly, won’t someone stop this train?

Don’t know how else to say it
Don’t want to see my parents go
One generation’s length away
From fighting life out on my own

Stop this train
I wanna get off
And go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can
But honestly, won’t someone stop this train?

So scared of getting older
I’m only good at being young
So I play the numbers game
To find a way to say that life has just begun

Had a talk with my old man
Said “help me understand”
He said “turn sixty-eight
You renegotiate”

“Don’t stop this train
Don’t for a minute change the place you’re in
And don’t think I couldn’t ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly we’ll never stop this train”

Once in awhile, when it’s good
It’ll feel like it should
And they’re all still around
And you’re still safe and sound
And you don’t miss a thing
Till you cry when you’re driving away in the dark

Stop this train
I wanna get off
And go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can
Cause now I see I’ll never stop this train

When it comes to writing songs, I think John Mayer and King David would get along well. In terms of life and the speed by which is passes, maybe for us the issue isn’t so much stopping the train but enjoying the ride and trusting the Engineer who is driving!


If you’d like to actually read David’s song, go to Psalm 39.

Here’s the song:

2 Responses to “john mayer sings about life’s brevity”

  1. 1 BC
    March 29, 2008 at 4:27 am

    Not a specific comment on this post – although I enjoyed reading it – I just wanted to welcome you to blogosphere! Good to see you here, and am looking forward to keeping up on your randomness in this format.

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
March 2008
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Thoughts gone by

"No problem can withstand the assault of substantial thinking." Voltaire



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