Switchfoot's Jon Foreman Discusses How a Hitchhiking Adventure Changed His Life

( [email protected] ) May 06, 2014 06:10 PM EDT
In a blog post titled "Hitchhiking," Jon Foreman of the Christian Rock band Switchfoot reveals how encountering a tsunami on a vacation changed his perspective of life, God, and humanity.
Jon Foreman discusses his appreciation for life and adventure following his experience with the 2011 tsunamis that devastated Japan. (Photo: Switchfoot.com)

Jon Foreman believes that life is not a promise; rather, it's an adventure.

In a thought-provoking blog post titled "Hitchiking," the Switchfoot frontman reveals how a trip to Hawaii during the 2011 tsunamis inspired him to live life without reservations and to appreciate every moment.

"Life is not an entitlement. Breath is not your right -- it's a gift that you take and give back. It's not a promise -- it's an adventure," writes Foreman. "And someday, we will give these bodies back to the earth. In a greater journey than anything I've ever known, we will all find out what lies ahead- on the other side of the grave."

The "Dare You to Move" singer recalls taking a trip to Maui with a friend to "gain perspective" on life. There was only one rule for the trip: no agendas. According to Foreman, that meant no rental cars, no hotels, --just a surfboard, a pair of trunks, a sleeping bag and a backpack.

"The truth is, we weren't looking for a vacation, we were looking for an adventure," says Foreman. "We were looking for that beautiful chaos -- the extraordinary feeling of anything can happen." He recalls spending the first day surfing and basking in the sun, calling it a "magical marathon session."

However, the tsunamis that devastated Japan in 2011 turned Foreman's lighthearted beach adventure into something far more serious.

"When the warning sirens went off that night we were too tired to understand or to care, so we slept through the first few of them... All of the sudden, a small aircraft flew by our beach with a siren on it -- we knew this must be more than just a test, so we headed off for higher ground to find out more about what was going on," the singer remembers. "We were shocked by what we learned -- the sirens were indeed more than just a test, they were loudly warning the coastal towns on the west side of the island that a huge tsunami was approaching from Japan."

"The same chaotic body of water that had given us so much joy only a few hours ago was wreaking havoc on the Japanese coastline," he continues.

Foreman recalls spending the night on the lawn of the local church, praying for Japan and feeling especially thankful to be alive. He was horrified to discover what had happened upon waking up the next morning, discovering that thousands of lives had been lost across the ocean.

This tragedy, hitting so close to home, sobered Foreman. While was overwhelmed with thankfulness for life, he also realized that life is not a guarantee. He encourages his readers to recognize that life is a short, beautiful miracle; death, he says, is a certainty. Life, however, is a gift.

"We might think that we're the ones behind the steering wheel, but in reality we're just hitchhiking, wandering down the road at the mercy of these incredible mysteries," he concluded." The chaos of life and death is all around us; but against all odds we are here. Alive. Walking down that open road of life together."

Jon Foreman's band Switchfoot rose to popularity in the Christian rock scene the late 90's for their thoughtful lyrics and catchy beats. The major debut album, The Beautiful Letdown, was 2003 and featured the hits "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move". It went on to sell over 2.6 million copies. Their seventh studio album Hello Hurricane received a Grammy award in 2011 for Best Rock Gospel Album.

Related: Switchfoot's Jon Foreman 'Rooting' For Protesters Who Verbally Attack Fans and Band at Concert (Videos)