"I've never been the kind of man who hits his knees/Got no answers for big questions/I don't know, maybe tomorrow lightning will hit me on the head/And we can find out if we're just a joke/Jesus I'm told can build a bridge finer than any other man/There's a certain peace to a country road with a wheel in your hand"—from "Road to Heaven"
For close to ten years, John Ondrasik has been recording with various bandmates under the moniker Five for Fighting, a hockey term for the penalty given to brawling players. Things started off with the 1997 release of Message for Albert, but it took the sophomore effort America Town to put Ondrasik on the map in 2000. A Platinum-selling effort that eventually earned him a Grammy nomination as a songwriter, the album was spearheaded by the hit single "Superman (It's Not Easy)," which became a post 9/11 anthem for New York's fallen heroes.
It was the perfect vehicle for the burgeoning artist's gifts—introspective writing, a distinctive falsetto-drenched vocal, and piano-based balladry inspired by '70s mainstays like Elton John and Billy Joel. And if "Superman" made a humbling introduction to a broader audience, it also paved the way for Ondrasik's increasingly maturing perspective in songwriting, evidenced by 2004 follow-up The Battle for Everything with the breakout smash "100 Years" about making the most of our days on this earth, not to mention "If God Made You," which explores faith in the tragic aftermath of a friend losing a child.
"That song took me aback after I wrote it," Ondrasik told Christian Music Today. "I've always looked at faith analytically, but that one was pure love, loss, and hope. It made me rethink my own interpretation of faith. 'If God made you, He's in love ...1