In a way, it’s a mountain climber saying, “Why don’t you write a story about what it was like climbing Mount Everest?” They’re like, “I’m only two-thirds of the way up. Let me go further in the journey.” That metaphor comes apart in that I hope people don’t see this as, “He reached the peak. Now he’s done. He’s riding off into the sunset.” That was probably something I battled with a little bit of thinking, “I feel like there’s still more journey for sure ahead of me with greater things than I even imagined as God has already done over and over again in my life.” But I knew I was coming up on 30 years since my first record came out. This year is that, and I think there was a part of me that felt like this is a good milestone.

Obviously a big part of the book is the loss of Maria, sharing that story from my perspective and how that redefined me in a lot of ways and reshaped my faith and my life. Again, that’s not a journey that you ever get finished with, but I felt like I had enough perspective now to share some of that. There are things that God has shown us and taught us and is teaching us that I felt kind-of released to make that, to engage in that process and begin to try to share the story.

Part of me also thought, at this point—I realized as I was writing it—I felt like there were about ten lifetimes wrapped into one life. It’s like, “Man, there’s a lot of living in there. A lot of amazing things, a lot of hard things.” Part of me is probably also like, “I should write this now because I’m just going to keep adding more chapters to the story. I think this is truly the right time.” I really think it’s just perspective. I’m certainly far from having anything all figured out or having a complete picture, but am at a good spot in the journey to take a little step off to the side of the path for a moment, so to speak, and tell about what it’s been like getting to this point.

Steven Curits Chapman, CCM Magazine - image

photo: Jeremy Cowart

CCM: You mentioned the 30th anniversary moments ago. Do you consider yourself a pioneer in contemporary Christian music at this point?
I wish I knew my history better, because I could probably give you a really good, cool, clever historical answer to that… No, I’m not your “Christopher Columbus pioneer,” the ones who discovered by any means what it meant to take music and fuse it with your faith in a really obvious way and use that medium as a way to teach and encourage people in their faith and tell their story. Certainly there were many that came before me, all the way back, obviously, to hymn writers, but certainly for contemporary Christian music, Keith Green and those that were ahead of me that inspired me and influenced me. The Dallas Holm singer-songwriter guys who shared their faith in a really honest way—those guys, I would say, are more pioneers. I would be coming along behind them like Lewis and Clark maybe, kind-of identifying the territories a little bit more, and taking it into some other areas than just the initial wave. It’s an interesting thing to ask. It’s an interesting thing to ponder. I guess I’d say, not a true early “founding father,” but perhaps a “pioneer” is a good term for it? I guess that applies to a lot of different generations across a lot of different lines.


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