Imagine taking your life‘s work—two decades of successful touring, with over 7 million albums sold and 25 No. 1 hits—a big part of your identity, and handing it over. Imagine selling most everything you own—your house, your cars, your stocks and a most of your furniture—and moving to another state. To another life. A place where the only agenda is to keep it simple and enjoy the great unknown.
This was the choice Peter Furler made. And it has forever changed him. Set for release on June 21st, Peter Furler‘s first-ever solo CD,’On Fire,’ is what washed up on the shore in the wake of this choice.
The Big Jump
Best known as the front man of newsboys, a band he founded as a teenager in Australia, Peter handed the group over to his bandmates in 2009, convinced that God had a new road for him and his wife, Summer. The decision was two years in the making.
‘We‘d been living in an RV, traveling to all the newsboys’ dates, 110,000 miles all across North America,’ Peter explains. ‘It was a pilgrimage for us, the process of simplifying our lives, and it was the best two years of our lives so far, really… We had a lot of time to talk, to assess where we were in life. In all that, I felt God telling me to let the ground rest, let the creative process rest.’
Peter stepped away from newsboys without an ounce of anxiety, fully supportive of the band. He sold his shares in Inpop, a label he‘d co-founded in 1999 that launched the careers of such notables as Newworldson, Mat Kearney and Shane & Shane, among others. He and Summer sold their house, their cars, and just about everything else but his studio equipment and moved to the Gulf of Florida, the closest thing to Australia down here in the U.S.,‘ and where Peter asked Summer to marry him 20- something years before.
‘I didn‘t have a clue what I was doing next, and loved that,’ Peter says. ‘I‘d been doing 100+ shows a year, writing, then finishing a record for more than a decade. It was good, but it was a merry-go-round that was never going to stop.’
In Florida, the days stretched out before him with no set schedule or to do‘ list, and for the first time in his entire adult life, Peter was amazed. ‘I had all these choices in front of me that I had not had before: Mow my own lawn or go to Home Depot? Normal things not even worth mentioning, but really big things to me. No deadlines, no big rush to get in or get out.’
The freedom to slow down, to make choices taught Peter a valuable lesson: ‘Artistically and creatively, I began see that God didn‘t make the horse to win at the races, but for his pleasure – to watch it run, Peter explains. ―I had a definite yearning to get back to nature, to express myself creatively, to do something just for the joy of it.