My memory verse this week:
"I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - I lay down my life for the sheep." -- John 10:14-15
NTC Day 54 John 17-18 and 1Peter 3-5
1 Peter 3:8 says, "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble."
When I hear we are to live in harmony, I think of the 70's Coke commercial..."I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony." I love music, and I tend to be an idealist, so this idea suits me just fine!
When I was a young girl, I learned to sing harmony by singing old hymns or Christmas carols with my mom while she played the piano. It was just something we did...sit down beside each other on the piano bench and make music. I learned to LOVE harmony! It makes the music so much more interesting.
When you think of musical notes on a sheet of music that go together, you need all kinds of notes to make harmony. You need the melody line that holds the song together. That's the part that most people hear and sing along with. But you also need notes above and below the melody to fill out the chords and make the tune complete.
And, to make the music even more interesting, you need a few minor chords and dissonant chords. Music composers use minor and dissonant chords to create tension, create a mood, communicate a feeling through the music. Most times, those chords are only temporary, and more harmonious chords follow to release the tension and bring the music around to a happier tone.
People are a like music...sometimes we are the steady, middle-of-the-road melody, the one everyone follows. Sometimes, we have new ideas that are high above what everyone else is doing...those people keep us moving forward, reaching for the future. And sometimes, we are looking back, wanting to stick to the trusted, familiar ways. We needs these people too, as they keep us connected to our past and our heritage.
The problem is, these three kinds of people (oh, there are MANY more kinds of people!) don't always agree...each wants their own way and when no one gives in, there is tension, dissonance and cacophony! (Noise!)
Jesus taught us to love one another and to humble ourselves. It can't always be our way. Paul taught us to "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:3)
If we want harmony in our homes, in our churches, in our work places, in our world, we have to be willing to work with the other notes in the chord, each fighting to be heard. Give and take, letting go, compromising...LISTENING. And, we need to be aware that there WILL be times of tension and dissonance. Sometimes, we NEED those times to really need, want, desire and appreciate the need for harmony. But as Peter says in the verse above, to bring back the harmony, we need to love each other, and be sympathetic and compassionate as well.
I need these lessons and reminders every day. Having a teenager in the house, who is spreading her wings, sounding out, trying to be heard in the chord...thinking she is ready to stand out on her own, but then realizing she needs the support of the other notes around her to be a stable chord. I need to let my note fall into the harmony line sometimes, and let her note take the lead. She needs to learn to take the lead in a safe environment, before she takes her song out into the real world. Many times there is dissonance in our home...waiting....anticipating...those moments of sweet release, when all the notes sing in beautiful harmony together.
How's the music in your life? Are you always trying to take the lead? Or, are you a supporting note, holding the chord together? Just remember that God created the harmony of life and wants us all to experience its beauty...all of it. We need to learn to work together to teach the world to sing...in perfect harmony.