Jul 26, 2022
Does a noisy mind drive you crazy? I know I can definitely relate to that! In this week’s episode, I’ll be sharing a song that addresses the noise in our lives and minds as well as some tips that have helped me a lot in this area. Maybe they could help change things for you as well!
Life, with all its highs and lows, is the best inspiration that I have found for writing songs and it seems there’s always something to write about. I think many songwriters would say similar things.
You’ll find that most, if not all, of the songs of Mark Alewine Music are simply a piece of someone’s story and how God and His truth figure into it. Of course some songs come out my personal life if I’m going through a particular situation whether good or bad. Some come from other peoples lives. I love to have conversations with people and hear their stories and then sit down and write about it. Doesn’t matter who it is.
Here’s how one of the songs came about. I was on the worship team one Sunday morning. We got done with rehearsal and there were 8 or 9 of us sitting around a table waiting for church to start. Struggles were definitely the prevailing topic of conversation that day. I was listening intently and feeling what each person was going through.
The phrase “noise of life” came up in conversation. Others around the table nodded their heads. I pulled out my phone and started writing as they were talking. The “noise” they talked about boiled down to stuff like the distractions and demands of life that kept them so busy and preoccupied; that kept them from feeling close to God or maybe their family.
Unexpected, hard news was another thing they talked about, maybe in their own life but also disturbing stuff heard continually on the news.
We prayed for each other and encouraged each other. Worship was a bit sweeter that day as a result of this “life” connection we’d had around the table.
Cindy and I went camping right after church. The next morning, I was reminded about the “noise” conversation when I realized how “noisy” the birds were around us. We started talking about the “noise” of life, what were some of the causes in our own lives and what could we do about it.
I shared with her the rough draft of the song idea I had started on my phone around that table on Sunday and we started working it into a song which would be titled, “You Calm the Noise”. I had my guitar with me and started messing around finding a melody for it in the midst of all the nature sounds.
Along with the song came something else. As we brainstormed, so many things came to mind that had been either triggers or solutions for us in the past so we created a list of them, a “noise checklist” of sorts. We were encouraged to realize that there’s quite a bit we can do to eliminate the “noise” going on in our heads if given some thought, prayer and intentionality.
I want to highlight three of those for you and give you a free download of the entire list if you’re interested.
The first question on the checklist is, “As far as it’s up to me, are there any broken relationships in my life?” Broken relationships can take up much of our thoughts and perhaps even keeping us awake at night which makes us more vulnerable to the noise of life in general. Since you’re human, I’m pretty sure you’ve experienced this.
Sometimes vain imaginations are to blame. These are nebulous things that create riffs between people. Here’s how it plays out with me… I think or perceive that someone is mad at me and, without talking to them, I allow that to keep our relationship at a distance. I even go to bed at night thinking, “why is this person mad at me?” Worry comes into play, sleep becomes difficult, functioning at work or even functioning at home can be difficult because of I’m always thinking about that broken relationship.
I need to have an intentional conversation with that person that goes something like this, “I have this vain imagination that you’re mad at me. Is that true?” Now, I have to be ready to listen, letting that person explain what’s going on and either put that vain imagination to rest or to answer the question with a “yes I am mad, you jerk” (or whatever). Then at least you can talk about that part and fix the problem.
I have found this to be so incredibly helpful and I’m glad someone taught me about it years ago. Give it a try next time you are stewing over something that is likely just a vain imagination and share this tip with others!
On the other hand, we could also really have a problem with somebody and could go to them and say, “I know I did this to you” or “I said this” or “I shouldn’t have done that. Would you forgive me?”
Now the ball is in their court because we’ve humbled ourselves in trying to fix the problem. The Bible says in Romans 12:18, “as far as it’s up to you, be at peace with all men”. Even if the other person won’t forgive you, you can have peace and “quiet” knowing you have done your part, continuing to pray for them and letting God do His work in their heart. We are only responsible to “keep our side of the street clean” and leave the rest up to God.
This leads into the next question on the noise checklist that I’d like to talk about. Ask yourself,
“Is there anyone I refuse to forgive, even though God is present right now to help me through the process?” Have you ever found yourself on that end of not forgiving someone? Someone has done something so horrible in your mind that there’s no way you could forgive them. You know what I mean.
Unforgiveness causes background noise in our lives and take much of our time, energy, thoughts and sometimes our health. Certainly, as followers of Christ, unforgiveness puts a divide between us and our Heavenly Father. That’s what Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15.
How would Jesus handle the particular situation you might be thinking of right now? Some offenses are truly more difficult to process. I know this first-hand. Sometimes the first step is to ask God to help us be willing to forgive. It is definitely a choice rather than something you feel like doing!
Forgiveness might be a daily choice or even a moment-by-moment choice. Sometimes it takes quite a bit of time but we should always work towards forgiving. Making progress in this area is HUGE to help quiet the noise in your life. As a result, we also become much more effective as husbands or wives or friends or bosses or workers or church goers…the list goes on and on. Quiet the noise of unforgiveness.
The third question to ask yourself from the noise checklist is, “Am I putting the Lord first in my life, in every area and spending time with Him consistently, not just when I feel like it or it’s convenient?”
Spending time with the Lord every day, a regular time, is the most important thing that I do. For me it’s in the morning first thing, the first fruits of my day. When I’m connected to the King of the Universe and when I’m right with him, I’m just better throughout the day. It’s a lot easier for me to reflect Jesus to others when I’m connected on a regular basis.
When I’m trying to do life in my own strength, with my own words and my own humanistic actions, it’s pretty disastrous. Now that’s not to say that going through the day is going to be perfect and without any problems but it certainly puts me in a better frame of light to see the opportunities that the Lord has for me that day and to respond in a way that He would respond.
The noise of life can displace God‘s peace, joy and hope in our hearts and minds. Thankfully there are things we can do to quiet so much of the noise of life so we can hear from God and respond to situations in a calm manner that reflects Him.
Cindy and I had a beautiful time working on the song, You Calm the Noise, because we could both relate to what it’s about!
The chorus of the song says:
There’s so much noise I can’t hear
So many things I could fear
But the peace and joy You bring
Help me through the day and I sing
And You calm the noise.
Can you relate also?
One of the verses says:
I’m convinced as each day passes by, life’s a test,
That’s truth, it ain’t no lie.
Here’s the secret, it’s true, no lie
Stay connected to the One who gives us life
We know the secret! Connection with the true source of life is what gives the ability to experience peace and joy in the midst of life’s struggles. That’s what I’m talking about on a daily basis spending time with the Lord and reading the word of God.
The bridge says:
You still speak today, in so many ways
You still live today, live through me.
If we allow Jesus to live through us, can you imagine what our families would look like, what our neighborhoods would look like, what our workplaces would look like, what our churches would look like? Jesus living through us is an absolutely beautiful thing.
My hope and prayer for all of us is that we would do our part in quieting the noise of life. You can get a free download of The Noise Checklist that I referred to in this podcast at GGSSPodcast.com, Episode 7.
It’s in a nice printable form that you can put up on your refrigerator or in your office or wherever the best place to be reminded of things that you can do to quiet the noise of life.
I hope you have a most amazing, noise free week coming up.