Saturday, April 20, 2019

Saturday Scriptures: God's Perfect Harmonies

God's Perfect Harmony

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Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. 
Philippians 4:8   The Message

In music, playing in perfect harmony is everything. Groups tune their instruments before a performance in order to ensure that everyone is playing to the same pitches and not deviating out of tune. For violinists, tuning to "A 440" means that we are making certain our A string is perfectly in tune and then we tune the other strings to match the A string using perfect 5ths. An "A440" means that the A tone is vibrating at a speed of 440 vibrations per second (440Hz). When I first began playing violin as a child, I did not understand what an A440 sounded like and so I relied on a pitch pipe to help me to tune all of my violin strings. Over time, I was able to train my ear to hear the "perfect 5ths" to tune my G, D and E strings, but I still needed to be certain that my A string was perfectly tuned. So time and again I returned to my pitch pipe to hear the "A440" to tune my A string. When everyone in an orchestra or band is perfectly in tune, there is a moment when all of the vibrations of sound come together in perfection. When this happens a chord can "sing" and you can actually feel the harmony in your insides. I have often teared up when playing or listening to music and the vibrations reflect this perfect harmony because it is such a beautiful and heartfelt moment. 

In Philippians 4, the Apostle Paul reminds us that we can experience God's perfect harmony by filling our minds with good things. That can be extremely difficult to do in today's world. Everywhere we turn there are things that we see, hear, participate in, listen to and read that can distress us, anger us, hurt us, discourage us and make life seem ugly. It takes daily practice and effort to focus on the good and not the bad, the things to praise and not the things to curse, the beautiful and not the ugly and hurtful, the truth and not the lies. It takes daily practice to fill our minds in the way that Paul suggests. 

Just like when I was a student of violin and had to return time and again to my pitch pipe to hear the perfect vibrations of "A440" in order to tune my instrument, I must return time and again to that which keeps me grounded in Christ. Prayer, scripture, worship, meditating on God's word.....these are my "pitch pipes" of faith that help me to tune my spirit in order to keep my thoughts steady, purposeful and positive in faith. 

Jesus is my true "A440" and as Easter Sunday approaches, I pray that you, too, may feel the perfect vibrations of His love and sacrifice on the cross for each of us. 

Blessings, Peace and Happy Easter!!


Karen said...

As I get older, I'm realizing that life is too short to focus on the things that can be anger-inducing. I'm looking for peace in my daily life. This might mean avoiding social media or certain tv programming, and it definitely means (for me) more time spent outside, and more time spent studying and meditating on God's word. Finding harmony in life means different things to different people, of course. I don't need more stress in my life. I don't want to waste the time I'm given arguing or focusing on all that's crazy in the world. Your example of tuning your violin puts it in perspective. Harmony and balance. The serenity prayer comes to mind. Easter week is definitely a time to reflect and to realize how very blessed we are. Thank you for this post Debbie!

Sharon said...

What a beautiful and well-written post, Debbie! Using harmony in music as a metaphor for harmony in life was very meaningful for me.

Debbie Styles Life said...

So glad you like the post, Karen, and found it helpful. Hope you are doing well and enjoying more "freedom" with retirement!

Debbie Styles Life said...

So happy that the post was meaningful to you, Sharon! Have a great day!