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Out of Tune
Photo: Studiomill
Recently, my son, his friend, and I did a musical medley at our church’s talent show. Granted, there were no talent scouts present, nor did anyone expect to be signing any contracts at the end of the show.  It was intended to be an evening of fun and fellowship and that is what it was. So mission accomplished.

Still, when you work on something for weeks, you kind of like for it to faintly come off resembling what you had practiced, right? I mean, my son Jon is an accomplished guitarist and his friend, who is also his guitar student, had sounded just fine at practice. And me? Well, all I had to do was back them up with some simple chording on the piano. 

We had chosen a nice medley of songs from the 50’s, which we felt most people would be able to recognize. And they probably would have if the music had been recognizable. That’s right. We stunk. But what happened? As we were playing, I knew we weren’t sounding quite right, but I couldn’t tell exactly what was wrong. Afterward, Jon pointed out what had been wrong. Even though he had tuned his guitar before the program, somehow one of the strings had fallen out of tune. Just one string, but did it make a difference! Whenever that particular string was played, a strain of discord rang through the room. The poor guy suffered through the rest of the medley, knowing what the problem was, but what could he do? We were already into the song. To make matters worse, Jon’s student and I were apparently affected by the unexpected dissonance and, thus, didn’t play our best either. Not by a long shot.

Just One String

As we listened to the video recording after we got home, we had to have some laughs as we suffered the pain once again of the disharmony. It was amazing that the same guitar that had previously produced such beautiful, harmonious strains had failed us. Just one string. That’s all it took to change a flawless melody into a musical tragedy.
Well, that was just a local church talent show. No biggie. But it reminds me of something that IS big. In our spiritual walk with Jesus, we have rules we learn along the way that have been proven to make our lives happier. For example, the Ten Commandments, which were given by God (the instructor if you will) in order to balance the parts of our lives together in harmony. If, by the grace of Jesus, we abide by those rules and practice them faithfully, we find that they truly do bring us in tune with God. But if we ignore even one of them, we begin to detect a dissonance that keeps us from benefiting from the full glory of the whole law. To make matters worse, when one part of the law is out of tune, then it’s easy for other parts to fall out of tune as well. Before we know it, we are playing an entirely different song. A song that God didn’t write at all. 

Following the whole law of music brings the blessing that the composer intended. Following the whole law of the Bible brings the blessing to the believer that God intended. What wonderful music awaits us if we will carefully keep ourselves in tune with God’s rules of harmony. 

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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