In the Round: Andy Osenga, “Whatever It Takes”


This may sound pathetic, but I just pulled this song up on Spotify this morning because I wanted to hear it again. It’s my favorite on this EP and my favorite song I’ve written in a while.Some of that, sure, is that it’s got two loud guitars and lots of feedback and Chris Weigel and Paul Eckberg just crushing it behind me. Below that, though, I think this is the deepest I’ve been able to dip the pen into my own bloodstream in a while.

I know the Lord gives us wild passion for a reason and one of my hopes for redemption and eternity is a life where passion becomes not a burden to manage but a gift to explore.

Andrew Osenga

This song is about being a grown-up. Having a job and kids and a marriage and a reputation and a mortgage and dreams of an emergency fund and blah, blah… The good things that take 365% of your mental energy. I’m a passionate person and I’d gotten used to letting it out in my songs, in fresh air on the road, in spontaneity and young love. I’ve probably idolized those things, to be fair, but I still miss them.

I love the life I live with my family, but there’s an itch that I can’t scratch these days to go climb a mountain or whisk my wife off to London on a moment’s notice. I know the Lord gives us wild passion for a reason and one of my hopes for redemption and eternity is a life where passion becomes not a burden to manage but a gift to explore.

Beyond that, life as a grown-up means looking at the high expectations and hopes you had for your career, your marriage, your church, your parenting, your community, etc., and realizing that those big nouns are as fallible as you are yourself. There’s a disappointment in this knowledge that can be debilitating.

I need to look at it, own it, and move through it. I shouldn’t try to hide from it, which is insanity and an endless search for entertainment, but I can’t let it kill me, either. I need to walk THROUGH it, hoping that the Lord will put ground under the next footstep, and ask Him to reorient the way I think. Ask him to take that disappointment and hurt and feel it with me and view it through a frame of contentment and gratitude. Wisdom and joy.

This explanation is way longer than the lyrics of the song. The music of this song may honestly tell the story better than the lyrics, anyway. So just give it a listen. Loud.

No. Louder.


There you go.

[Andrew Osenga’s Flesh EP is available in the Rabbit Room store for just $6.]


  1. Jonny Jimison


    Last week I was compiling a list of my top five rock songs of all time (because I’m a list-making nerd like that) and this song was one of the first ones on the list. Part of that is because of the guitars, the other part is that the lyrics do what I need song lyrics to do: put a name on some weight inside me, un-abstracting it into words so that I can confront it. Thanks for the extra insight behind the song, Andy. It’s one of my favorites!

  2. James Witmer


    Wow. Once again Mr. Osenga puts words to something I’ve struggled to explain… and rocks my face off in the process.

    Thanks, Andrew, for the empathy, the truthful reminder, and that amazing overdrive.

  3. Holly Deutsch


    Yes! I love turning up this song in the car when I need to let out joys and hurts that I can’t express. Also, I’ve used this as my alarm when I needed a LOUD early morning wake up.

  4. Peter Brunone


    Man, I’m glad we got in on that Kickstarter. Thanks for pouring it out for us, yet again.

    You’re right about passion being a gift that — like every other gift — ends up twisted and worshipped, leaving us disappointed and wondering where we went wrong. You’re also right to long for that day when we, like the lizard-oppressed fellow in The Great Divorce, can ride our passions to the glorious fulfillment for which they were created.

    Also… dang, you guys rock.

  5. Dan Rechlin

    I remember the first time I heard this song, as that last line was ringing out (can we say “ringing in,” or is that only for New Years?), I was bowled over by how incredibly poignant and appropriate these lyrics were; by the thought that they’d probably be the last words we’d hear from Andy’s career as a songwriter.

    This was almost immediately followed by much gratitude for a most excellent outtro, giving the time needed for that ringing to make its way in.

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