During the Pandemic with Mercy Me
Finding Contentment and a Balanced Focus
When Mercy Me’s Mike Scheuchzer, Nate Cochran, Barry Graul and Bart Millard sat down for a chat with Family Life Radio, they discussed some of the challenges their Christian Contemporary band went through during the Covid pandemic. They made many adjustments and endured tough times like all of us, but one of the things that saved them was having a studio to record in.
Interestingly, they had just released Almost Home, a song they’d hoped would encourage the listener they are not alone, when they found themselves isolated. While initially trying to be sure their loved ones wouldn’t become seriously ill, they felt like “caged animals,” but soon settled into a more relaxing time with their families for a few months.
The band explained, “It’s like, when do you push pause on the world? And it’s not like going on vacation where there are still deadlines. Or still stuff you’ve got to do, and you come back. Everything was on hold.”
He began to relish the idea that all he had to do was figure out what kind of ice cream to eat with his eleven-year-old daughter.
“My time with my family was like nothing before.”
Then the band started going to their studio to record the album, which took much longer than it normally would have before the “pause.” But they viewed having this focus, this place to go with work to do, as a blessing which, as Mike put it, “Saved my life and saved my marriage.”
The pandemic pause dictated a break from the hectic lives the Mercy Me band lived, as with all of us. So how do we strike that balance now that things are somewhat back to the post-Covid norm?
According to the band, “You spend plenty of time together. Talk about all the things that you experience and unpack it together, out loud.”
Especially when they were making their record during that time, they learned there really wasn’t much that could be said that would offend any of them.
A positive thing that came out of the “pause” of the pandemic for them is more of an awareness of the balance required in life. The Bible talks about being still and knowing that God is God (Psalm 46:10), taking time to be with Him and soak in His presence. It also talks about the importance of working with all your heart as for the Lord (Colossians 3:23) and doing something useful so you have something to share with those in need (Ephesians 4:28) and carrying your own load (Galatians 6:5).
The band found that balance as they slowed their recording efforts way down, slow enough to communicate and spend time with their families.
They kept their focus on the music and on their message, which is Jesus. It takes effort to steer away from tangents and the things that divide us. They stayed firmly focused on their goal and, as Mike explained, it’s the “common thread” that kept them together.
His hope is that as the global church we can remember that all the other issues “play second fiddle to Christ.” He is where we find rest. He is our hope and it’s His Good News that we must share.
The message is clear in the Mercy Me lyrics of the song, “The Best News Ever:”
What if I were the one to tell you
That the fight’s already been won?
Well, I think your day’s about to get better
What if I were the one to tell you
That the work’s already been done?
It’s now a good news
It’s the best news ever
Best news ever
So won’t you come?
Come all you weary and you burdened
You heavy laden and you hurting
For all of you with nothing left
Come and find rest
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