Reflections

Aspirational Lyrics

I’ve been singing a lot of lies lately.

Well, reluctantly singing. And in church, no less. Let me explain: we’re no longer in the era of frequent community singing. Our praise songs aren’tย converted from bar songs anymore, intended to rally us together at the end of a long work day. Outside of the car or the shower, I don’t sing that much and especially not with several hundred of my nearest and dearest friends, which is why I find our extended church worship times a bit awkward. I’m all for expressing God’s gifts of creativity and beauty, but can’t it sometimes come in form of a poem or painting or piano concerto? But no, it’s always a crooning white guy strumming a guitar and forcing my vocal chords to go several octaves past their comfort level.

Photo by Desi Mendoza, Creative Commons
Photo by Desi Mendoza, Creative Commons

But I still try. I stand up and sit down and get back up again while pretending that I can match pitch and praying for a flute solo to let me sit back down.

It can get rough. So, lately, I’ve been distracting myself: by actually listening to the lyrics. And you would not believe some of the things I say! Things like: “I’m no longer a slave to fear.” and “Through it all, my eyes are on you.” and “In oceans deep, my faith will stand.” Sounds nice, right? But it’s not true. I still have lots of fears. My eyes are often on safety and success and recognition. And in oceans deep, I stay in my pajamas and eat cake and request back rubs while watching Netflix.

So, I think that’s why I actually don’t really like singing in church. It doesn’t seem honest. It doesn’t seem real. Taylor Swift seems to get me way more than my worship leader does.

But a couple weeks ago, I heard a prayer. After the worship, once everything was quiet, our music pastor prayed for “people who these lyrics might not be true for yet”. “That’s me!”, I thought. He prayed that people, like me, will press on, will keep singing, and will eventually see the faith and blessings expressed in the lyrics to come true in their lives.

And then the next week, he prayed again. This time, for everyone: that we might see the lyrics as a goal, a direction to head, and a compass to point us towards God. We may not be living all the truths found in the music yet, but we’re letting them surround us, wonder with us, and hope with us.

Photo by Barn Images, Creative Commons
Photo by Barn Images, Creative Commons

I’ve started to see the lyrics less as lies and more as aspirations. Aspirations for things to be “well with my soul” and for my soul to echo “whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing till the evening comes.”

So, on pitch or not, I’ll keep standing up and sitting down while trying to follow along with the worship leader. And I won’t feel like I’m singing lies–I’ll let the lyrics wash over me and will keep praying to see more of their truths inย my life.

Lindsay Sig

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29 comments on “Aspirational Lyrics

  1. I absolutely love this post and can so relate to this. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post- I love Oceans, such a good song.

    Like

  3. Wow ! I hear so clearly what you are saying, I can relate.

    Like

  4. I can relate to this post, maybe not from a Christian music perspective, but from a devotional one. How many times have I heard Fake it Until you Make It? I can’t keep track. At first I thought how shallow it is to fake something just because you want it in your life, how shallow and deceitful. But somewhere along the path, I understood the power of this message and it was such a revelation. I truly believe that when I call and claim things into my life as if already there, the path to actually get them or get there shortens, and it’s a magical, divine thing to see those aspirations come to pass. So you get up and sing your heart out because sooner than you think, all those things will come to pass and become a reality in your life.

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  5. Very honest. And, even when we’re feeling far from Him, it never hurts to sing to Him; it might just help to bring us closer to Him! (He realizes we’re not perfect. He’s perfect enough for the both of us.) :):):)

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  6. Thank you for your honesty and insight. As a worship leader myself I can tell you there are times that we wonder why some in the congregation are not engaging. This post cleared up what some may be fighting for me. The songs we sing are declarations to the enemy that we won’t sit by allowing him to bash us in every direction but we will fight back. Praise is that fight. There are things shifting in the supernatural that we don’t physically see but as you declare the word of God over yourself I’m confident that you will feel it! When you are fighting against a sickness declaring that God is your healer sets the fact against the attack the enemy has spoken over you. The enemy tells you you are sick. God says you are healed. Or how about when you sincerely feel like you are going under and just about to be defeated yet you declare that you have victory. Things in your atmosphere shift. Praise isn’t about singing lies to one another…it’s about singing the truth over yourself. It’s such an amazing battle weapon and I couldn’t be more proud of you for standing strong and continuing your fight! Praise God! I am so excited for the victories that are coming your way ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love your honesty! So true, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This resonates with me. Thanks, Lindsay!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I absolutely agree that the lyrics are aspirations. Lately I feel like God is talking to me through songs. One song does come to mind that I sing with conviction, knowing it applies to me always: I Need Thee.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I liked this post, it was honest and had many things we all think about and possibly struggle with! Nice pictures to go along with it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Lindsay. Thanks for visiting my blog. I popped in here this morning and your post on singing in church brought forth a wry smile ๐Ÿ™‚

    In my church, of late, the Choir Mistress has been placing a wee bit too much emphasis on melody and rhythm and a lets-get-going that has left much of the congregation struggling to keep up. Most times, we’re getting too focused on singing right, and this allows less room for the lyrics to speak to the heart. I used to sing along, but now when I sense something in the lyrics, I let the others do the singing and instead, allow the hymn to write its word on my heart.

    I’m glad for that because I now realize that hymns are God’s Voice, so it’s never about the melody or the rhythm.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Insightful post! I think that the lyrics are the main focus of the songs. We sing those songs praise Him or to give us direction, not to enjoy the music itself!
    My church has this annual camp for students and the youth church members to attend and they play really sad songs and try to reach out to the students. Personally, I think it’s a little misleading because some students are touched by the sad songs and sad atmosphere, not God. On days when the sermons are boring or when the songs aren’t really emotional, they aren’t that enthusiastic anymore.
    This brings me back to your post about the lyrics! It’s important to reflect on whether you are worshiping the music or God. Lyrics are inspirations, inspirations to be a better christian.
    As long as you keep the main objective of worshiping God, I THINK it’s okay to write poems, play the piano or paint. Just my opinions ahaha thanks for sharing!
    Have a great day and God bless! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You go Angela.! Lindsay, God made you. And made your voice. It doesn’t have to be the octave you think it should be. That is the enemy putting that in your brain, telling you your voice is not good enough to sing those songs to God and that you are lying if you sing those lyrics. DON’T BELIEVE HIM. God loves the sound of your voice. All of us fall short of the glory of God. We are not perfect,never will be…but we can strive to be the best we can be. And we can chase the enemy causing him to flee from us when you refuse to believe him and sing from your heart even if all the words aren’t things you do yet. Your eyes ARE FIXED on him when you sing to him. And he loves to hear your voice be it singing or talking to him. Keep rebuking the enemy! I think that pastors prayer for two weeks in a row was God personal message to yu and everyone like you who are being fed the same lies by the enemy. And he put it on pastors heart to pray that again to be sure you all heard it. ๐Ÿ™‚ God loves you and your voice!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Thanks for being so honest Lindsay. This is so important. We are working on being truth seekers over here, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you for the “like.” I visited your blog and read the narrative above. As a reader, I would have been satisfied if the meaning or lesson had ended halfway through (not a matter of length–your style is clear and engaging). I think it’s true that song in church can go too long (too high) with words that, as platitudes, cannot reach. But then the narrative turned, and you speak of prayer and aspirations. That challenges my jaded notions. So let’s give the music a chance? Sounds good. (Pardon the pun.) Thank you, again.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Many years ago I felt exactly what you express so well here. But similar to what helped you resolve your feelings, I came to a place that believing my heart and soul wanted what the lyrics said. I may not have been in that place yet but there was is a longing in me to please my Savior and find a way to get there, which in some ways may not completely happen this side of heaven. – Excellent Post! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. A'TeirrahBrynae

    I love how transparent you were in this post, because many of us can relate so much. I know I definitely related to this post. The great thing is you know you are not at that point but the greater thing is that you realized you can grow from that point. Great post!!!

    Like

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