Danny had a unique problem to confess to his men’s group. He was genuinely upset when it was his time to share. He needed ideas, he needed prayer, he needed to refocus.
“Here’s the thing,” he said to his friends. “Every morning I arrive at work cranky and in a bad mood. I chew out my employees, I’m not in the mood for work, and I tend to bite the head off of anyone who calls me or interrupts. And sometimes…” here he swallowed hard, “that phone call has been my wife.”
George caught his eye. “Question, Danny,” he said. “What do you do during your commute?”
“I listen to 30 or 40 minutes of talk radio,” Danny said. “Why?”
“Well there’s your problem,” Mike chimed in. “No wonder you’re in a bad mood. Maybe you could turn if off, listen to some inspirational music, or an encouraging podcast?”
Danny tried. The result, no kidding, was a 180-degrees about face. Peace, good humor, even spiritual growth.
So here’s a question, Dad, “What’s the Soundtrack of Your Life?”
1. Garbage in, garbage out.
There is a direct relationship between what we stuff our brains with and the mood we bring to our relationships and our work.There is a direct relationship between what we stuff our brains with and the mood we bring to our relationships and our work. Remember the “Chariots of Fire” movie and how the soundtrack made us all leave the theater ready to change the world? What we listen to really does affect our psyche.
2. The vocabulary we nurture becomes the way we think.
Related to “garbage in, garbage out,” our functional vocabulary literally alters the way that we think. If we deliberately saturate our consciousness with words of grace, peace, love, encouragement, and hope, then we will reflect those values in our thinking. The New Testament writer Paul put it this way, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)
3. Too much noise can block actual thinking.
Sometimes the best option is no soundtrack at all. Many of us routinely turn on music, talk radio, or TV every time we have a quiet moment. Plan for a few quiet moments and allow yourself to meditate, pray, and think.
4. We are teaching our kids all the time.
Our soundtrack can be our kids’ soundtrack by default. It’s a good idea to think about what our soundtrack tells them about us, about what we value, and about what is acceptable. We’re not just talking about “PG” vs. “R” here, but the overall message we share.
Related Resource: 5 Ways to Encourage Other Dads
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