“You sought after me as I kept on running,” Jordan Chapel recites from a favorite song while lying in his hammock at Academic Plaza. Those words mean a lot more than the sounds of music to this Texas A&M junior. Ironically, running for track led him to A&M where he felt the spirit of Aggieland pulling him.
Prior to his “YOGO” lifestyle, which he states represents “you obey God only,” he lived a life void from the acknowledgment of God’s presence. He felt hopeless and alone with so much turmoil going on in his life. Meanwhile, his basketball coach, Coach Harris became his spiritual mentor who would invite him to church and bible studies although Chappel admits that he didn’t always attend. It wasn’t until he had an unfortunate encounter that he truly experienced God’s presence. His former girlfriend of almost 2 years in high school had cheated on him. Chappel describes the spiritual catharsis that followed after his heartbreak as a sensation that started from his feet flowing up his body.
“I felt God’s presence at that moment and realized that God has been and is always with us no matter what. I was at peace with everything, and I was able to forgive people for what they had done against me,” Chappel describes as his face brightens with happiness. After his spiritual moment he felt as if a film had been removed from his eyes, and he could see that the problems he encountered were just God’s way of trimming every unhealthy branch “that bears no fruit” in his life. Since then, he gathers his inspiration to play worship music so that he can be aware of God’s presence and acknowledge that even though he might not have time to pray, his music allows him to connect his praise to God as much as possible.
Now Chappel broadcasts his worship music religiously via a music box synced to his phone. He rides through the campus as the lyrics of praise resound from his backpack. His goal is to influence “even one or two people” who might happen to hear the words speaking to them and have a spiritual movement the way he experienced in high school. He believes that music allows God to speak to him powerfully and wants to share this uplifting experience with others. Chappel credits Coach Harris, who ultimately gave up all of his possessions to become a missionary in the Ukraine, for leading him to a point where he finally realized the true meaning and value of the words being sung in the worship music he plays.
Sharing music hasn’t always been a smooth ride for Chappel. While he expresses no apprehension regarding playing his music publicly, he was confronted by a man who ordered him to turn his music down “now” because “it sounds like (offensive word).” Chappel wants it clear, “It would be amazing to have a few people who would join in with me and ride through campus together disseminating God’s word, but what I do is not about me.” As he lays in his hammock, the sun sets in front of him and he grins with serenity because of his spiritual awakening, and his goal to become a future coach like the one who inspired him in high school.