Release Date: June 18th 2021
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Dusty Road
Michael W. Smith is a CCM legend. Synonymous with CCM pop and worship music in the 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s and the 2010’s; Michael has created and delivered to us one of the most popular, respected and impacting careers from the 80’s onwards, of any Christian musician. With virtually only Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman – his contemporaries – active as a solo artist at this very moment, Michael has delivered with him throughout the years- a legacy that any other musician should be extremely envious and proud of. With millions of his songs touching hearts and lives all around the world, inclusive of his singles “Friends”, “This Is Your Time”, “Live The Life”, “Missing Person”, “Healing Rain”, “You Won’t Let Go”, “Above All” and the recent hit “Waymaker”; it seems like Michael has accomplished all that he has wanted to and needed to. And we as a site have certainly felt Michael’s impact and influence- you can read our blog about Michael here. Yet this year, Michael is back, with something that he’s never done before. A song for Father’s Day from a couple of months ago.
Many years ago in my early 20s, I came out of a very dark time in my life and made a personal decision to follow the faith of my earthly father and enter into my own relationship with my Abba father through his son, Jesus Christ. One thing I have come to understand from all these years of experiencing life walking with my God is this: No matter who you are or your circumstances, you can know that very scene that happened to me with my dad plays out in heaven all the time. Your Abba father looks at you and says, “You know who that is right there? That’s my child. That’s my girl. That’s my boy.” His first thought is of you. And his love for you as a father.
All those years ago, I realized I could never step into my destiny until I knew who I was. And then I understood that who I am can only be determined by whose I am. Regardless of who you are or who your parents are or were, regardless of their presence or absence, how good or horrible they might have been, I want to encourage you to wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and find the strength in your heart to tell yourself, “I know I’m not there yet, but I like who I’m becoming.”
We can make those declarations because of truths such as the one the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:2: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (New Living Translation)
I believe that to be true for me, and I also believe it can be true for you. Together, we can confess with confidence: “Father, I love what you’re doing. I know I’ve got a long way to go. I know I blew it yesterday. But today, I love who you are making and moulding me to be, in your image.”
We have all heard the phrase “God loves you” countless times, but the other side of that thought that can change any life, just as it did mine, is you have to let God love you. Whatever your struggle, whatever your pain, whatever you have walked or crawled through, whatever you did to someone or someone did to you, God can father you.
This has been my message since my dad went on to heaven as I have had the privilege of taking my music all over the world. That is also the message of my new book The Way of the Father. So, this Father’s Day, I want to leave you with one final truth that I believe with all my heart: “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1 NLT)
“Dusty Road”, inspired by Michael’s latest book The Way Of The Father, is an acoustic guitar driven ballad that emotionally and fittingly honours and pays tribute to Michael’s father. Co-written with Cindy Morgan, the personal and honest melody is vintage Smitty, and should immensely and evidently please the many, many fans of Michael’s heartfelt melodies. Although for me I prefer Michael’s worshipful material, this song still is profound and hard-hitting, as Michael elqoeuntly reminds us that he’s still here and he’s still a force to be reckoned with in the CCM industry. Oh, and the song also implores us to cherish and honour our fathers as well.
If you are a fan of Michael W. Smith’s worship music, then this song may not resonate with you. And that’s ok. Those who want a bit of creativity from Michael and see him harken back to the days of Wonder, Healing Rain, I’ll Lead You Home or even Live the Life, may find something worthwhile and poignant here. In any case, this melody which encourages us to reconcile with our fathers- is needed regardless if we connect with the track or not; and this reminds me that Michael still impacts a generation even now with his music. Especially now with Worship Forever slated to release this coming September… let me be so bold to declare that even if Michael continues to drop albums with just ‘cover music’, then his impact and relevance in today’s music industry will still continue in the coming years. Michael’s passion to lead people into a moment of worship need not be denied, but his ability to be a storyteller and invoke real emotion, as evident in this track, is one of the best in the industry today. So as we sit back and listen to how Michael’s father has inspired him in his life, let us also anticipate Worship Forever. For anyone who loves modern day worship, then that album will definitely be for you. Well done Michael, I can’t wait to hear what God has in store for your next!
RIYL: Steven Curtis Chapman, Hillsong Worship, Israel Houghton, Paul Baloche, Chris Tomlin