What’s the Deal with the Moon?
You may have noticed that the artwork for my latest single, Thank You (available everywhere you find your music online) features a pretty prominent moon (credit to Adam Jenkins for the incredible design.)
You may have also heard that my upcoming worship EP- that Thank You is part of – will be called The Snowball Chronicles, Vol. 1.
And I can see how these things might cause some confusion for you. The moon doesn’t seem to have anything to do with thankfulness. And how snowballs link with worship is not clear in the slightest. There are no snowballs in the Bible, at least at first glance.
Well, I would love to enlighten you. To quell your confusion. To bulldoze your bewilderment. To pick apart your perplexity.
You see, it all comes down – as things so often do – to Jeff Lucas. You might have heard of him. He’s an hilarious speaker and writer. Most famous for this selfie that was thrust upon him.
(incidentally, you may recognise the look of faint bemusement on his face from your own reaction to my artwork and EP title)
In a book that he wrote with Adrian Plass, Seriously Funny 2, Jeff uses this wonderful phrase that struck me when I first read it many years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since.
‘Trying to describe God is a little like lobbing snowballs up at the moon…the best we can do is get the snowballs about 20 feet up on their journey. Which is paltry considering the moon is about a quarter of a million miles away’
I just love this image. I think it summarises one of the central tensions of worship music. Or indeed any art that tries to point to God. Ultimately, it will always fall hopelessly, hilariously short of the mark.
And I think that’s important to remember for songwriters and anyone who tries to express ideas about God, lest we take ourselves too seriously. All of our songs, our poetry, our many words – they’re just snowballs, falling pitifully short of the moon.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t ever try – that it’s pointless to talk about God. That He is fundamentally unknowable.
If anything, it should inspire us to try all the more. To never settle for the same weary words, clichés worn thin by familiarity. To keep searching for new ways to point to the God who can never fully be described. To commit to this work that we cannot hope to finish.
And that’s the idea behind this EP. The reason for the title, and the artwork. I always want to keep trying to give people words to worship with. Music to point people towards God. Even if it can never tell the full story. And I always want to have fun doing it, and never take myself too seriously.
After all, these songs are just a collection of my own snowballs to launch towards the moon. And they will fall short just like the rest of them.