Separate Ways debuted in 1983, two years after Music Television was launched on August 1st, 1981. This Journey song was recorded on the Frontier’s album, peaking at #8 on the Billboard’s Top 100 chart. While Separate Ways did reach #1 for four weeks on the Top Tracks Chart, there is more to this song Behind the Music. The lyrics of Separate Ways was inspired by the painful break ups and divorces Journey band members experienced.
After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the brothers and sisters (believers) in every city where we preached the message of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take [his cousin] John, who was called Mark, along with them, Acts 15:36-37.
I experienced divorce for the first time when my neighbor’s mom got divorced twice in a three year period. Spending every other week or once a month with your father must be confusing and difficult for any teenager. Meanwhile, when the stability of a family collapses, fear of broken and severed relationships leave soul spirit hurts behind. When I researched Separate Ways, Worlds Apart is italicized like a sub-title that becomes a reality when relationships go their own separate ways.
But Paul kept insisting that they should not take along with them the one who had quit and deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone on with them to the work. 39 And it became such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took [John] Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, Acts 15:38-39.
The Bible refers to a different type of separate ways in the passage above. Luke highlights a disagreement between Barnabas and Paul over missionary partners. Barnabas allowed family ties to blind him from his cousin’s desertion during their first missionary journey. While Paul does forgive John Mark in future epistles, he was unwilling to take the risk of relying on someone who recently abandoned the mission field. Subsequently, Paul and Barnabas go their own separate ways, serving the Lord in their own unique manner. While I am sure there were hurt feelings by both parties, sometimes it’s better to go your own separate ways.
by Jay Mankus