Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV
Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne wrote “Free Fallin'” in two days to go onto Tom Petty’s debut album Full Moon Fever, that was released in 1989. The song is full of references to areas of Los Angeles, California — so it is fitting that one of my favorite singing buddies from California would be a great choice to collaborate with on this cover, James Pittman.
I think that it’s an especially interesting song lyrically — in that even though it describes the “bad boy” and the “good girl” in the song — Petty tells when asked about the song’s development and meaning — that it isn’t about a certain person or story per se, but was written about what he saw along his commute every day.
In this time while most people’s “normal lives” have been changed and impacted, one of the greatest benefits to this situation is that “normal life” has been interrupted for most of us. And we might each benefit from having time to pause and ponder and appreciate so many “common blessings” that we encounter regularly every day.
I wonder how many of us can admit that at times we are just “free falling” through the days — without real intention or purpose or appreciation — just “making it through”. I also wonder if circumstances like we are seeing around us today might give us a more clear and present opportunity to be aware of this.
I wonder how many of us in our complacency and our “free fallin'” might have broken the hearts and dreams of those around us — not even consciously or maliciously or intentionally — but by our indifference and lack of encouraging, lifting up, and supporting those around us? I can at times be overly critical and set high expectations on those around me and hurt them unintentionally just by my attitude and perspective towards them. But when I contemplate such shortcomings, and I pray about them, and when I am purposeful and conscious of those old traps instead of just free falling through my life — I might find myself willing to be the brokenhearted good girl instead.
The good girl loves. Do you hear that in the lyrics? Repeatedly it tells us she LOVES. She loves Jesus. She loves America too. And horses. And her boyfriend too. She loves. Isn’t that the key difference?
I hope someone might enjoy this cover. It isn’t for money or profit, because I’m just a bad boy trying to be more like that good girl who is in love with Jesus and America. I’m not a professional or trained singer or artist or entertainer. If I’m anything by name or title, I’m a Follower of The Way and a Student of the Word. I’m lucky enough to have been awakened from my free fall through life by an encounter with Jesus Christ that changed my whole life. And now that I’m awake, I’m just like a voice crying out and singing out through the night — trying to lift up the name of Jesus and see who else is waking up from that free falling. Yes, we are look more like the bad boy if we are honest with ourselves — but what a wonderful thought that we have a hope for something that is completely different.
God bless you to be a blessing to those around you. Amen!