Why Jon Bellion’s “Meant To Live” is right on time, nearly 20 years after the original

Cynicism and judgement do very little in the efforts of change, whereas critical thinking, honesty and optimism can truly make a favorable dent in the battle for betterment. 

If you take some time to think critically about the world we live in, it is extremely evident that improvement is desired within the many layers of humanity. Whether it’s personal improvement, political, social or environmental, the frustrating grumbling amongst individuals is the same, often leading every person to ask themselves the question at one time or another, “Is there more to this life?”

And rather being an experience that is solely unique to our generation, these sentiments and feelings have been around from the beginning of time; including nearly 20 years ago when a band called Switchfoot stepped onto the scene. I was 6 years old when I first heard their hit song “Meant To Live”. I was either on the way to church or school, I can’t quite remember, but what I do remember is how this supremely dense rock song made me feel at such a young age. I’m not sure if I fully understood the weight of the lyrics back then, but it was obvious that the song alone was doing something to me that I had never experienced before. Was that my burning bush moment? Is this how the disciples felt when they saw Jesus walking on water? In other words, it seemed like what was coming out of my dad’s 2001 Honda speakers was none other than the Holy Spirit. Looking back with the context I have now, it was clear that Switchfoot’s “Meant To Live” was putting words to a common groaning that every finite person is born with: “We were meant to live for so much more”. 

20 years later, I’m drawn to repentance again as my favorite artist of all time decided to release his version of this special song that has stuck with me all the way in to adulthood. If you look around, the groanings and moanings are the same in 2023 as they were in 2003. The search for “more” is more urgent than ever and “Meant To Live (Jon Bellion Version) is right on time to remind us that it is a search worth partaking in. If you’ve spent time with Jon Bellion’s catalog, then you’d know that he is a modern day Mozart; a man anointed to introduce the world to heaven through headphones…and that is exactly what he did in this masterful rendition of a track that he had personal ties to as well. Jon writes in an Instagram post:

“I remember so clearly being 13 years old, driving home from somewhere with my parents. I remember hearing the voice on the radio say “this one’s called “meant to live” from a band by the name of switchfoot”. I remember being frozen in the back seat as the song unfolded, absolutely wrecked. Like someone saw my inner thoughts and put them on blast.

I can truly say im not sure I ever felt that way about a song that strongly ever again in my life. Tears running down my face, I thought to myself “I think I wanna write songs””

Like I said, cynicism and judgment do nothing in the efforts of change, which is why “Meant To Live” will always be effective. The song doesn’t call out, but rather calls up; It doesn’t tear down, but instead builds up. I could go on and on about the various elements that make this piece special, but I fear my limited vocabulary would only empty the song of its power; In conclusion, I encourage anyone reading this to listen as soon as you can. This rework is right on time because the statement, “We were meant to live for so much more” will always be essential in our desire for better.