By Heidi Baumgartner, communication director
I’ve told myself lies before. Like “I don’t have time for reading” or “I don’t have a good singing voice” and deeper lies, too.
But I started singing – at least at home! – when my son was three days old. I didn’t know any lullabies, but I remembered a few prayer songs. Pretty much every night for more than three years, I’ve sung those prayer songs – sometimes in a whisper, sometimes through tears, sometimes at the top of my lungs.
Then the other lie – I don’t have time for reading – I started addressing about four months ago by dedicating the first 30 minutes of Wednesday morning to reading a chapter. I’ve finished four books this way and watched my reading habits morph into other days and times.
Funny how our brains misdirect us. Author Jon Acuff in his book Soundtracks talks about the broken soundtracks, or negative stories, we tell ourselves about ourselves and the world. He suggests we ask broken soundtracks if they are 1) true, 2) helpful, and 3) kind.
Acuff interviewed hundreds, if not thousands, of people about how they “turn down the dial” of negative self-talk. Every person had a different answer, a personal habit that they had cultivated, from running to gratitude journals and much more.
One of my favorite ways to recalibrate any “stinkin’ thinkin’”: immersing myself in scripture.
When you take the time to “Be Still” in scripture, there’s plenty of opportunities to fully engage your senses in the word of God. Consider these soundtracks in scripture:
- Sound of singing – Exodus 32:18
- Sound of wings and wheels – Ezekiel 3:13
- Sounds of a cry – Jeremiah 51:54
- Sounds of shouts of joy and weeping – Ezra 3:13
- Sounds of joy and gladness – Jeremiah 25:10
- Sound doctrine – Titus 2:1
- Sound of bronze cymbals – I Chronicles 15:19
- Sounds of terror – Job 15:21
- Sounds of mourning and wailing – Job 30:31
- Sounds of praise – Psalm 66:8
- Sound of the trumpet – Jeremiah 4:21, Revelation 8:6, Exodus 19:19, and many more
- Sound of the birds – Ecclesiastes 12:4
- Sound from heaven like a harp – Revelation 14:2
- Sound of voices – Isaiah 6:4
- Sound of your greeting – Luke 1:44
- Sound in faith – Titus 1:13
- Sound of war – Exodus 32:17
- Sound of words out of the fire – Deuteronomy 4:12
- Sound of God’s majestic roar – Job 37:4
May we listen to God’s voice speaking truth into our lives, to adjust the dial of our inner dialogue to say with our whole heart as did Samuel: “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears” (see 1 Samuel 3:1-10).
Talk as a family about healthy ways to recalibrate your thinking (either things you already do or want to do). Artfully list this out. Or perhaps create a code word or phrase to help keep each other accountable. Post it on your fridge or some other place where you can easily and frequently see the reminders to check your thinking.
Bonus prompt: Assemble a “playlist” of favorite uplifting Christian songs.
Lord, help us listen for the sound of the blowing wind from heaven with the movement of the Holy Spirit as Acts 2:2 shares. And like 2 Samuel 5:24 says, help us be ready to quickly take action when we hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, knowing that God goes before us. May we be filled with hope and anticipation as we await the sound of the trumpet of the Lord announcing the second coming of Jesus Christ (as shared in 1 Corinthians 15:52). Thank you, God, that you are faithful with the soundtracks of our lives. Amen.