Friday, October 22, 2010

In Tune with the Master

The lights dim. A hush fills the hall. Suddenly a lone spot light floods the stage with a splash of light. You vaguely make out the orchestra through the dim lighting noticing that one chair is still empty. You wait with growing anticipation until you see the curtain to the side lift up slightly and a lone form gripping a violin glides to the empty seat. She pauses and bows slightly as the hall fills with respectful applause. She then sits and with slight determination and authority lifts the violin to her chin and plays one long clear note. With this one note, the entire orchestra lifts their instruments and begins to tune to her single sound floating above the din. The sound of the entire orchestra tuning is a jumbled mass of confusing notes and strains, but when completed, each different instrument can play their own notes, their own melodies and harmonies and still sound perfectly in tune to each other. Thus by tuning to the one lead musician the individuals become a mass of beautiful music that moves the heart beyond words. Each individual has tuned into the master.

Just as abruptly each instrument is laid down and every musician arises to greet with honor the next lone individual to make his appearance. The conductor has arrived. It is he who chooses what to play, when to start, how long to hold each note, when to stop and in short how the entire concert is to be performed. If any musician chooses not to pay attention to the motions of the conductor, he or she will certainly regret it in the long run. For if they are to play as individuals producing one glorious sound, they must keep themselves in tune to each move of the leader.

Just the thought of the gorgeous music that comes from a symphony orchestra thrills me! As a musician the nuances of each performance and the beauty of the music stirs my heart like nothing else can! In studying music I have noticed how much an orchestra is a correlation to how our Christian lives should be lived. Here are some observations on the Christian walk from the view of a musician.

1. Every musician tunes to one person.
One person is who the entire orchestra tunes themselves to. Each individual instrument could tune themselves to each other, but then each individual group will still be out of tune as a whole. There is only one person who is considered to be perfectly in tune and everyone looks at them as such-the lead violinist. I think we are to look at Christ in the same way. I am not supposed to tune my flute to someone else's flute nor am I to try and tune myself to the trumpet section. Christ is the only one that I am to consider perfectly in tune and it is to Him only that I am to tune myself to. Only then will I be in tune to the Master and only then will my symphony be truly beautiful.

2. Every musician must pay close attention to the conductor, and only him, or they will be lost.
Allow me to present the idea of God as our conductor. It is He Who orchestrates every nuance of our lives. If we take our eyes off of Him, we will get lost, become off-key, stop playing, play for the wrong reasons or not know where to go next. Even worse is that it is our nature to either take the lead ourselves or look at something for guidance. If we are not focused on the true conductor we may either burst forth with our own off-key melody or we may put someone else in the place of the true conductor thus destroying the beauty of the music.

3. If even one person is out of tune, it makes everyone sound bad.
For simplicities sake I am going to reduce the orchestra down to two singers. If even one of the singers is out of tune, they both sound bad. My sister and I love to sing together. She has a gorgeous voice with a special knack for harmony, but I am better at just sticking with the melody. If either one of us is off key though, it sounds as though we both are. It makes both of us look bad. As the person carrying the melody, I am in the lead. If my sister doesn't know what I am singing, she will not know where to go with the harmony. She has to look to know where I am going and listen to me to see if I divert from the original notes so that she can follow me and both of us be in key. If we are singing a duet with God than He would be the melody and we are the harmony. We must look to His lead to know what notes to sing. We have to be in tune with Him or we make Him look bad.

In conclusion we must know God, study Him, listen to Him, watch Him, and communicate with Him in order to know His will. The outcome of our life's composition depends on it. Are you in tune with the Master?

1 comment:

  1. So beautiful. Every time I sit listening to and orchestra the same thoughts fill my mind as I watch with anticipation the entrance of the violinist then the conductor. Listening for each piece to play in turn, solo pieces with such precision and timing, crescendo, decrescendo...the perfect picture of the individual within the group, the body part and the body whole with Messiah the Head.