“Run with Freedom”[i] was one of the earlier songs the Lord gave to me. I was in high school at the time—a sophomore, I believe. This song came a few months after I wrote “Into Your Glory,” which was the song that the Lord used to sort of kick off this whole songwriting ministry (read the “Behind the Songs” story about “Into Your Glory” here). After writing “Into Your Glory,” a slow, worshipful song, it was on my heart to write something more upbeat and energetic. I was heavily involved in track and field at the time, so it only made sense to write a song with a spiritual application about things I had learned from running.
A steady rhythm kept coming to my mind, and soon the lyrics of the chorus came forth: “I will run with freedom. I will dance with freedom. I will jump with freedom in Your love.” That part was easy. The rest of the song took a bit more work. I actually wrote an entirely different melody and lyric sequence for the verses at first, only to scratch it completely because it just wasn’t flowing with the rest of the song.
Since things just weren’t flowing for a while, I decided to put the song aside until something new would come to me. In His good timing, the Lord did indeed give me the rest of the song, and the lyrics became a heartfelt prayer of mine throughout my life ever since then. The whole focus of the song is setting our minds on the race God placed before us, throwing off all distractions and everything that hinders, much like the Scripture declares in Hebrews 12:1:
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
People often ask about how the process was in writing the bridge for this song, and I tell them that that part was surprisingly easy. It was the verses that were difficult. The bridge seemed to come fairly naturally, in spite of how complicated it can be to sing! However, the bridge is my favorite part of the song because it summarizes the entire heart and message of what the song is about. Let this be your prayer today too:
“I’m turning ahead; I’m laying aside all my pride
And everything else that hinders the length of the stride,
Pressing on toward the goal of the heavenly prize.”