Keeping a proper spiritual beat, one that blends well with the congregation of believers around us, requires expert direction as well. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
For many years I sang in a choir. These were church choirs; some were large with 6 to 8 bassos in my section, and there were very small choirs where I was the lone bass. Especially when I am the lone bass, it is hard for me to get the initial tone to start a piece. Since I read music by intervals and not by individual notes, I tend to think of reading music in terms of identifying notes by their position on the staff. The staff functions like a map with each vertical position corresponding to a particular note name. While this helps me follow the musical piece fairly closely, it does little to help me find just the right tone to begin a piece. In my mind I can’t tell the difference between a C and an E note. Major and minor keys aren’t really helpful either. For me the choir director is essential when I’m trying to find the right pitch and key to start on. That key, starting note is extremely important. Once I have that tone in my mind due to pitch pipe, fellow basso’s or choir director’s hum, I’m able to follow the music by the note intervals. Following this way is essential for me if I want my voice to blend in, and especially if I want to keep the proper beat.
I have a decent voice but it’s of little good if it doesn’t blend well and can’t follow the beat. I need direction, guidance from an expert who reads the notes and knows the key in order to transform the sound I make with my vocal chords into music that is pleasing to the ear. Keeping a proper spiritual beat, one that blends well with the congregation of believers around us, requires expert direction as well.
Here’s a story. Elizabeth Elliot tells of two adventurers who stopped by to see her, all loaded with equipment for the rain forest east of the Andes. They sought no advice, just a few phrases to converse with the Indians. She writes: “Sometimes we come to God as the two adventurers came to me -- confident and, we think, well-informed and well equipped. But has it occurred to us that with all our accumulation of stuff, something is missing? She suggests that we often ask God for too little. We know what we need--a yes or no answer, please, to a simple question. Or perhaps a road sign. Something quick and easy to point the way. What we really ought to have is the Guide himself. Maps, road signs, a few useful phrases are things, but infinitely better is someone who has been there before and knows the way. (Elizabeth Elliot tells, A Slow and Certain Light.)
How’s life? Everything going well and you feel in sync with God, with others? If not, it may be because you just don’t know where to start, there are so many problems on your plate; and how to keep your life in rhythm with those who love you, depend on you, or call you neighbor or friend. If life seems confusing, even dreadful as things just continue to work out wrong, perhaps it’s because you didn’t start yesterday or today with direction from above, from our Heavenly Father. Going it alone and hoping for the best is like reading music by intervals without knowing a starting note or feeling the right beat. You may be putting your best efforts into living and loving, but all the while you’re a heartbeat behind, and you’ve stepped off in the wrong direction to begin with. Tomorrow gives us a whole new chance to get into sync with others by acknowledging our inability to do this by ourselves and seeking guidance from above. God directs each of us in prayer and worship. We need only seek him and he will always provide the direction we need to hit the right notes.
We pray. Thank you Lord for your guidance and direction in life. Life gets complicated often and we think we know what to do, but end up in more trouble than we started with. Help us to rely on your divine guidance to start and end our day, every day, since this thing called living is complicated and life often takes twists and turns we weren’t expecting and have a hard time dealing with. Your direction is comforting and oh so helpful. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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