Living the songs you sing (or write)

Living the songs you sing (or write)  Image by Ani's Photography ( - Creative Commons Attribution License

Living the songs you sing (or write)
Image by Ani’s Photography ( – Creative Commons Attribution License

There are days, and sometimes weeks and months that I wake up every morning feeling defeated before I get out of bed. Today was no exception.

I can probably blame the ultra-cold weather of the past 3 days (-8F for most of yesterday), but I think that’s only part of it.

This past year, I wrote a song. My first worship song ever, in fact.  I called it “Quiet Now”, and you can listen here.

The main idea came to me while I was sitting in, Comet Coffee, my favorite coffee shop in St. Louis. Comet is right next to an interstate, and the road noise is pretty loud when you step outside onto the patio. Right inside, though, you can barely hear the road, even right next to the window. Noticing that dynamic inspired the opening line:

“Your voice is barely a whisper in my heart, but it fills me up when I shut everything else out.”

This is a deep need inside us all, and one I’m so bad at. This is where songs – worship songs in particular – can be truly valuable. It’s possible to notice the disparity between your life and the songs you sing and decide that you shouldn’t sing them because you’re not being honest to do so. I can see why people feel this way, and I suppose it’s a step ahead of singing songs without any thought behind what you’re singing, but I think it’s a bit shy of the mark. I believe worship songs are like scripture is in most places. It’s not meant to be a weight around your neck, showing you how terrible you are. It’s meant to be a reflection of where you’re meant to be, and where you can get to when you really live a God-breathed life – one that lets Jesus shine through moment by moment.

It gets harder when you lead worship songs for a congregation, and even harder than that when you actually try to write songs that reflect God’s heart for you and for others. You can feel down deep when your life doesn’t match the words.  So what do you do? Quit singing or leading or writing until things match up better? Maybe. Sometimes walking away for a period of time can give you better perspective and help you find the right reasons to do all the above. I’ve certainly done it. Sometimes, though, the answer is to stick with it, humble yourself, and learn to make confession a regular part of your life. You know, like it says in the Bible:

James 5:16

English Standard Version (ESV)

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

I guess the point is, your life and songs, public and private, are not meant to be lived apart from your Father. Living as close to Him as possible is really the point, and learning how to be quiet and listen is a good first step.