Nothing Without Love – (Nate Ruess)


Batteries not included…raise your hand if you ever hated to read that when you were a kid. It seemed like every toy that I ever received growing up never came with the batteries! The batteries gave life to everything that I wanted to work…and now that I am older, I have started to think people are kind of like batteries…I find that I need people in my life to help make things work. Whenever somebody does something that affects my life in a powerful way, or tells me something life changing, I just get this feeling. I feel “recharged.” It’s like knowing that I had this knowledge or power the whole time but I just needed reinforcement…I needed my “batteries” to make it work.

Our time is something that we also need in life. We often gage life by asking questions like “is this worth my time?” Everything we do certainly seems to depend on it. We seem to want to accumulate new things, whether it’s cars, a new house, jobs, money, relationships, hobbies, friends, etc. all because we have a fear of when this “time” will run out on us. Sometimes we can get caught up in our new things and even lose track of time…we can lose track of what’s important and lose track of our true purpose. But time never seems to unwind or want to stop and depend on us, but instead it rotates our lives in it’s true continuous clockwise motion. So why would we ever want to give up our time to anyone else? This is a story about a man from around the world who, in just a few words, told me the one reason why maybe it’s time to give up…

To better premise this story I have to say that ever since I was young I have always loved wrist watches. I collected them any chance that I could. I remember when I was really little I used to make my dad take his watches off during church just so I could look at them and play with them while I was supposed to be listening to a sermon. I have developed a passion over the years for the simple design and aesthetic elements that go into the production of a solid watch. History tells us the word “watch” may have come from an Old English word woecce, meaning “watchman.” It was used by town watchmen to keep track of their shifts at work. I never thought a wristwatch from a stranger would one day be the watch that would help put my life back on track…but here is how it happened. Over the past year I have been blessed with a really neat job. I work as a designer for a software company, the leader in our industry, and everyday I get to be surrounded by a talented, motivated, and most importantly a true selfless team of people…and we have teams in Mississippi, California, Georgia, Canada, and even India. This past December, I got to experience the annual week long event for our entire staff. It’s this amazing week of connecting and getting to know everyone in the entire company. We get to interact with all departments, share ideas, plan and discuss our exciting future, but really it’s a way to connect with each other. Well the night before our “connect” week officially began I got invited to go out to dinner downtown Oxford and meet some of the teams that had just flown in from out of town. I had never actually met some of these people other than chatting on a company Skype session. I was definitely excited! And a little nervous…so I got there a little early before anyone else and I waited at the bar while our table was being set up for our large party. Well while I was waiting I saw two of my friends at the bar and began talking to them. And I guess I got carried away in conversation and before I knew it I turned around and everyone was already at the table! There was hardly a seat left for me! The only area that seemed available to me was at the end of the table with our team from India. So they motioned me over and slid their chairs around to make room for me at the very end of the table. It was that famously awkward “corner space” seat between the seat at the head of the table and the seat at the end of the table. But they all quickly began to introduce themselves to me and throughout our entire meal, they always wanted me to be served first…I didn’t have silverware so they gave me theirs…I didn’t get my drink order right away and they offered me their drink…I didn’t get served my food first so they offered me their entire plate…I was just blown away by their kindness…Complete strangers from around the world were treating me with such amazing kindness. I felt like I was the one who should be serving them and I was trying to come up with something to start a conversation because I wanted to talk to them so badly. I wanted to hear their stories, I wanted to know about India, and ultimately how they started with the company. The man next to me just so happened to be wearing this “watch” that just caught my eye and I had never seen one like it before so I said, “Hey..I really like your watch! What kind is that? It’s really cool!” And he starts to take it from his wrist and he hands it to me, closes his hand, and says,“Here…Here take it! It’s yours now…” (I remember thinking what?!, Is he serious?! This man I had never met is just freely giving me the watch off his wrist?) And I quickly realized he was serious…and obviously I did not take his watch, but after multiple times of me questioning him about it, he just looked at me, with the watch still held out and he said, “Adrian…take it…it’s just a watch.


Is it time for you to start giving up? Do you ever feel like there are some things in your life you need to give up? How can we learn to freely give to others? Have you ever done that? Are there things in our life that are taking up our time? Are these things really “worth” our time? Do you ever feel like you needed some “batteries” in your life to make everything work or to recharge yourself? How can we learn to let go and still hold on to a heart of love?


I am nothing without love, I’m but a ship stuck in the sand. Some would say that I’m all alone, but I am, I’m nothing without love. I am nothing without love, I’m just these thoughts without a pen. And I would take credit for this song, but I am nothing without love…”

Nothing Without Love” is the lead single from the Fun. frontman’s debut solo album titled Grand Romantic, which was released in June 2015. You have probably heard the trio Fun.’s hit singles Carry On, Some Nights, and We Are Young, but now Iowa native Nate Ruess has released his first solo collection and leads off with a monster-sized anthem hit all about love. The video may seem to be about a romantic love but he is also singing about an awakening. Ruess is describing his life and everything he has both gained and lost such as heartache, world wide success, possessions, fame, but he sings out from the bottom of his lungs that he is in fact nothing without love…In his music video for a span of 24 seconds, from 1:37 – 2:01, Ruess tries to capture that moment of what it feels like to be living in real love from dancing in the street, explosions, rising up from the water, conducting a choir, being with the woman of his dreams, and looking up to the sky. When asked about the new religious undertones in his debut album, Ruess replies, “I noticed I was using the words ‘Lord’ and ‘God’ a lot…there is even a song about the afterlife on the album, and this is just different…this is the first time I’m not directing all my resentment towards religion, or being blasphemous on a record. This is the first time in my life that I’ve been happy…

Luke 6:30 | Give to anyone who asks.

A man from India did just that…He made me realize I am absolutely nothing without love…He is one the many batteries I need in my life. I don’t know about you but I have never met anyone in my entire life that has ever offered to give me the watch from their wrist. Have you? He had just arrived in the U.S. from India, I can imagine probably jet lagged and maybe in need of that watch…I truly think that exact conversation happened for a reason…It’s one of those “you can’t make this stuff up” moments…I felt something spiritual once more. I ask myself questions all the time, and I pray it’s not because of doubts, I just love trying to fit the pieces together. I ask myself why I grew up liking watches, why I was given this job opportunity, why did my company have a team from around the world, why was I invited to that dinner table that night, why was I late sitting down at that table, why was the only seat left next to this man, why was he wearing a watch that tailored my exact taste, and why did he give me the one reason to give up…He made me realize the truth that we are nothing without love…

If you have been reading my blog from the first post, you should by now start to realize the truth that maybe there is a God. Maybe He really has been in control of everything…People have been the batteries for me, and God has been the charger… I lived a life of fear for a long time…Like Nate Ruess sings about in his song, I felt like my ship just got stuck in the sand. Like in the old pirate movies, my “life” ship looked unsalvageable, abandoned, broken down to driftwood, and I was just floating in the waves waiting to washed up on shore next to my “life” ship. At that time in my life, I didn’t know how to turn back, I was always scared, scared I was going to miss the future. The life I lived for a long time was extremely fast, dark, and dangerous at times…it was a matter of time before I shipwrecked and it would be a matter of time that I couldn’t unwind…

Team India recharged my heart and reinforced the meaning of love. So take on this Give Up challenge and learn to let go of the things that you don’t need in your life…don’t lose track of what’s important in life. Don’t let some of your possessions take up all of your time, I promise you that you will not be able to take them with you when you die…Watches are just watches, cars are just cars…that’s all they are…Ruess claims he can’t take credit for his song, he believes that love is the reason behind it all…in the same way I can’t take credit for the way my heart is changing because that’s not from me, it’s from God, it’s a real love, and I am truly nothing without it. I can also relate to Ruess in feeling that this is probably the first time in my life that I have experienced true happiness. I have finally realized the things in life that are truly important to me…Will I still have possessions, be ambitious, and seek a great life to provide for myself and a family one day? Yes, absolutely you better believe it! Nothing wrong with this at all…but do not let them consume you or lose track of your time spent on the real purpose for your life…God has a plan for you, seek Him out! I now know the reason why it was time for me to give up…It was time for me to recharge my batteries and get my life ship out of the sand. So try and start to freely love others no matter what…let people be the batteries for your heart, and let God be the charger…He will bring you back to life and bring real love into your heart…He did it to me…and the batteries will always be included = LOVE. Nothing is impossible…

Luke 12:15

15 And He said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Watch, listen, and share what happens when you decide to live the next 10 days in love.

(Listen below to Nothing Without Love by Nate Ruess)

(Feature post photo by Sonja Langford)

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