Standing alone on stage with just a guitar, singer/songwriter Amy Grant made a powerful impression Monday morning during a convocation in MPAC. The native Nashvillian has sold more than 30 million albums, won six GRAMMY® Awards and 25 Dove Awards during her career, but her talk focused on finding ways to cut through the chatter that life can bring, even a life filled with career successes.
Opening with the title track from her second album, Father’s Eyes, Grant then began a series of stories that detailed wisdom garnered over the years from friends and family members, including her mother’s admonition to her as a teenager to listen for the voice of God. Admittedly, at the time, she wasn’t sure what exactly that meant but recounted stories of how, in recent years, those words have come to her in specific moments and led to astonishing results. “I’ve always felt the infinite possibilities of what the journey of faith means.”
After a performance of her 2013 song “Not Giving Up,” Grant noted, “I wish somebody had told me this long ago, but I was in my 50s before it came to me. You know that chatter that’s in your head? It’s really not a trustworthy voice because it can be for you or against you. And when you’re listening to that chatter you miss a lot of other stuff. Last year I had to ask myself, ‘Do you even know what it’s like to be still?'”
Grant explained that “the chatter” is really an individual’s ego caught up in comparing the self to its own aspirations as well as to others. And the chatter it creates seems to only get louder when trying to pray or connect with God.
She remarked that reading The Wisdom Way of Knowing by Cynthia Bourgeault recently proved to be a “game changer” as it introduced her to an ancient, orthodox practice of full prostrations before God. “You have to be willing to risk something different if you want the trajectory of your life to change.”
Grant then invited three students to join her on stage to experience how prostrations could help empty the soul of noise and distractions and assist them in hearing God’s voice. “Hush. Just be in the moment. It made life feel a little more peaceful to tell my ego to shut up… We live broken, fractured lives, but who we are is loved, we are loved loved loved.”