I was a smartphone holdout for a long time. I still don’t have an iPhone. I’ll admit a fondness for Android, probably because my Samsung screen is big and I like that little green droid guy. There are still plenty of things that others use their phones for that I don’t, but there are some apps that I’ve found to be very handy. One of them is Bible Gateway (www.biblegateway.com) that gives me a verse of the day, right there in my face on the screen.
Today’s verse is one I’ve always loved:
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. Psalm 95:1-2 (NIV)
Of course, what vocalist wouldn’t love this verse? Just reading this makes me think of the joy of making music and the sensation of being in tune, or atunement.
It’s a physical thing. You’ll recognize it if you know what to listen for. Two tones perfectly in tune don’t “wobble.” They don’t waver. The sound waves are perfectly aligned. If you saw a graphical readout of the two waves, they would be identical. When two tones (or melody lines) match perfectly, it’s bliss. When they’re close, well….it’s tolerable for most. When they’re off, it can be downright cringeworthy. Something inside of us knows it ain’t right. (This is why I don’t watch American Idol!)
But atunement – being in tune – that’s right. You feel it, you know it. You feel the energy not just matched, but multiplied.
Being in tune with God is like that. You think you’ve got it, until you really get it. Then your realize that gee, you were a little (or maybe a lot) off. But when you’re in tune with the Divine…it’s that feeling of being at peace, of being connected. It’s a knowingness that you’re on the same wavelength. (And if that sounds trite, it’s probably because it’s a really good analogy.)
That’s not always an easy place to get to, and I wonder if it’s really possible, but we can at least try. One facet of God is that God is like a benevolent, ever-patient music teacher. God puts up with our flat notes, sliding pitches, wobbly tones. We hear what it sounds like, and hear in our mind what it should sound like. Most importantly, we know what we want it to sound like.
Then we have a choice. We can either be sloppy and fake it halfway, or we can take our time and make the purest, most perfect tone that we possibly can with the instrument we have. Making that tone of our lives the best that we can is, I think, extoling God with music and song. It’s making a joyful noise – and we do it because we want to, because it is joyful! Even if music isn’t your thing, you can sing (or work, or write, or play, or whatever) with joy to the Lord. All that really matters is that you make it the best you can, and the Divine will be glorified through your gifts and your joy.
You’ll be in tune.