This morning as I sit enjoying my coffee, it hit me that this is the first time in about fifteen years I haven’t given anything up for Lent. Not being Catholic I never observed it until I was twenty-five and living in Romania. I heard a sermon by Louie Giglio and was encouraged to take time before Easter and focus on the cross. Fasting in conjunction with pray has been a regular part of my life for almost twenty years and there is such beauty the outward sign that we care more about God than we do whatever we are giving up. As someone who has struggled with food addiction and an unhealthy relationship with food most of my life, it takes me to an even deeper examination of what do I go to numb. Usually I give up sweets and some years other foods. One year I gave up background tv, which may not sound too hard, but it made me aware of how often I would just have the tv going on in the background. I learned to use the time and listen to teachings or music. I learned the background could help me educate myself or fill the air with my voice in worship.
This morning my devotion left me pondering what is in the way of me knowing Jesus more. My answer was once again what I play in the background while I work. Yesterday I got to work on and configure a desk made of old scraps, crates, and another small desk. And today I get to paint it and start taking apart a pallet to build a coffee table for my new home. I’m so excited! When I start the work I will have a critical choice to make: what will be the soundtrack for my day? Now there are remnants of the old pharisee that still lingers in the recesses of my heart that wants me to feel guilty when I choose something purely fun like “Thirteen Going on Thirty”, but those things have their place. In his book “Run with the Horses” Eugene Peterson talks about these moments of levity in his life as going to the baseball field. He of course puts it in a eloquent way talking about how when life is full of deep thinking, study, counseling and helping others, there are moments when he craved to go watch a baseball game. For a few hours fun was his focus. When I’m working at home, that translates to me filling the background with something fun. And it’s good. And it has it’s place. But for me, I have to be careful it doesn’t make up the soundtrack of my entire day. For me I need to be mindful of the background noise. My husband has quickly discovered that I am not a fan of complete silence. I need a sound machine or fan on at all times if there is nothing playing through a speaker. And I think that is a good picture of my heart too: what plays in the background matters. What I am choosing to focus on plays a huge part in my mood and my creativity. As a follower of Christ, when I surround myself with His goodness and Truth my souls can breathe better and my creativity flows. So I have a couple go to pastors I listen to and of course Brene Brown has been my soundtrack many a day. The last few months TRIBL is my go to for music. If you haven’t heard them, check them out. They’re amazing! This morning as I sit in the (almost) silence of the early morning before the birds have even begun to sing their songs, all the possibility of the day lay before me. And the question I feel The One Who Loves Me Most asking me is what will be the soundtrack of this day. A question we get to answer every day. From the music and podcasts we have playing, to the news and social media, to the laughs of your children, if you’re blessed to have them, what will be the soundtrack for your day?