Matthew West

matthew-west

“How differently would we live our lives if we knew that every single moment we’re alive, history is in the making?” asks Matthew West. “Never underestimate the power of every moment that we’re alive.”

This idea grabbed West in the fall of 2004 when he stumbled across an article about his debut single breaking sales records. The headline read, “West Makes History.” He paused to consider how that felt.

“I didn’t feel any different than I did five minutes ago, which inspired the thought that I don’t want to be a history-maker in the world’s eyes, I want to be a history-maker with eternal value.”

And there it was — the idea for shaping his new album, History, with this eternal theme. As West says, “God has plans for every part of our lives — past, present and future. Our lives are history in the making.”

“I’m excited to share this message, especially right now, because people are searching for purpose and significance and yet are often derailed by whatever holds us back — fears, insecurities, our past. But God says, ?Trust in Me and you will find your purpose.'”

At first, West felt intimidated by tackling such a huge and divine concept. But God stepped in to give him inspiration through the daily experiences in his life.

“The Last Ones” was the result of one of those God-experiences. West’s face breaks into a deep smile as he remembers meeting Taylor, an amazing girl who happens to have Down’s Syndrome. During a concert in Kansas City, West chatted with Taylor, whose dad was working as the soundman. She turned his world upside down.

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“She just changed the way I looked at life,” West shares. “You meet people who are dealing with disabilities and your instinct is to feel sorry for them, for the obstacles they face in life. But from the moment I met her, I felt like she knew something I didn’t. She had so much love.”

“The Last Ones” was inspired by Taylor and all of the people like her who have disabilities. He was amazed at Taylor’s wisdom. “She has taught me that the last ones are the lucky ones — just like the Bible says ?the last shall be the first,'” West explains.

He quotes lyrics from the song, “‘Maybe the last ones are the lucky ones / The ones who have got this whole thing figured out / ?Cause when they go looking for something beautiful / They go looking from the inside out.”

West has discovered that history-makers come in all shapes and sizes. They may be people you would least expect.

“These are the things that have inspired me over this past year,” he quips. “As Don Henley puts it, getting down to the ?heart of the matter.’ When you find the heart in life, you discover therein lie the history-makers. If we’re not living our lives with all our heart — or giving God all our heart — how can we expect Him to bless our lives? But if we give it all to Him, that’s when good things happen.” He stresses, “That’s when history gets made.”

West has finished his album and has wrapped up a large national tour. He admits that in this crazy time, God has kept reminding him that his priorities need to stay focused: God must come first, then family, with his career in tow.

And family life has become more complicated lately. It’s no longer just his wife, Emily, that he has to care for. There’s a wrinkly new addition to the West household: a puppy. West rolls the tape back to the couple’s first date when Emily mentioned she had always wanted a little black pug, and to name it “Earl the Girl.” He chuckles that buying a puppy “together” was not exactly first-date material — plus, he’s mildly allergic to dogs. But allergies are no match for this helpless romantic, who surprised his wife, Emily, on Valentine’s Day 2005 (after being married about a year-and-a-half) by showing up at the salon where she had an appointment. In his arms was her little black dream-pug, Earl the Girl.

“The only downside is every time I hold her (the dog),” West says with his quirky smile, “I break out in a rash.” Copyright © 2004 Christian Music Planet, used with permission. Read more at ChristianMusicPlanet.com!

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