The business of life swirls on and if you don’t move out of the way, in many cases, you get ran right over. So, it is true, all of us have “business” to be about and yet, there is a divine purpose connected to an eternal clock ticking in the background of the daily hustle and bustle. Since the ticking is not loud and obnoxious, it is often drowned out by the sounds of cultural norms and common noises.
But when asked what’s most important, many would unequivocally say the quiet ticking of eternity. So why are we so often consumed by the here and now and thus unaware of the ageless sound of God’s plans unfolding?
I believe it’s because the process is much like musical chairs. Musical chairs is one of those games that draws a crowd wherever played, especially if there are cakes or pies to be won. The game starts with a set amount of chairs, adequate for most of the contestants to get a seat. And as the music plays, the people meander around the chairs in some sort of rhythm. But inevitably the music will stop and all must scramble to find a seat. And the game continues in this way until all but one contestant is left.
Hearing God’s ticking at the proper time, for me, is kind of like that process. I must move in sync with the motion of the day. But I must set my eyes and ears on the sound of the “music in the background.” When it is time to act, I must not be late or aloof. True, the Bible speaks of a day when our Savior will come and wrap up what we call “today.”
For every day, in every life, He stops the music and speaks to us His direction. It is our habitual response to those often “quiet” directions that will prepare us for the day the whole world will know this game of musical chairs is finished! For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; Matthew 24:38
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Can you tell by now there is a rhyme and a reason to what’s going on? Somebody is orchestrating a piece of music that has been written for quite some time. And you and I are coming in at this particular stanza. You probably feel like I do; sometimes ill- equipped! What am I doing? I don’t know the first thing about playing an instrument. By the way, which one am I supposed to be playing? Stop! Stop worrying yourself. Close your eyes and lean into the rhythm. It’s there. It’s you! Not only are you part of the music, you are the actual “notes” themselves. You are destined and designed as a song of honor by the Father of Creation Himself. So no time for wandering and worrying about stuff! You’ve got music to make! Press in and focus on the Conductor’s every direction and let Him take you where He wants your song to go.
The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me– Psalm 42:8 New King James Version
1 Chronicles 16:31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”
Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you… Psalms 55:22a Amplified Bible
Not long ago, a dear friend moved on to be with the Lord. Today I find myself missing him and his way about life. He was tall in stature and walked a little stooped over (I think to make those shorter feel better about themselves). No one would ever say he was very vocal. But if you knew him any length of time, you knew he had a beautiful way of expressing himself. Like the legendary BB King, this brother would talk through his guitar. Man, could he talk!
A few years back, he realized he had a life threatening disease and his health was failing fast. But you wouldn’t know it by his smile and disposition. Every Sunday morning, he would be there in his familiar spot filling the atmosphere with sweet sounds. Then his body shut down and he found himself in the hospital fighting for his life. All involved thought this was the last time we would see big “D.” But after a few short weeks, he was back in his spot with a new song. When he was strong enough to share, he testified of how at his lowest moment in the hospital, burning up with fever, the devil told him, “You’re gonna die!” But right about that time, the Lord sent a dear old friend by to remind him, “D, don’t let the devil get you down.”
Whoever is reading these words today, as a tribute to my dear friend and brother Delmar Garrett, I say to you, don’t let the devil get you down. No matter what you are going through this very moment, God has it under control and there are brighter days just around the bend.
Ebony and ivory, Live together in perfect harmony.
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?
We all know
That people are the same wherever you go
There is good and bad in ev’ryone,
We learn to live,
We learn to give each other
What we need to survive, together alive.
(written by Paul McCartney, 1982)
My two sisters and I love to sing together. And it always involves harmony. Boy, we have a lot of fun. There’s nothing like notes coming together, especially with people you’ve known and loved your whole life!
It’s very interesting how Mr. McCartney penned these words so beautifully. And to put it bluntly, he told the truth. In music, you cannot have harmony unless you play both the black and white keys. They work together. In fact, the very first lesson I have always taught to my children and other piano students on the keyboard is the location and relation of the black and white keys. At the same time, the tone and function of these keys can be completely different. They don’t lose “who they are” to be a part of the “big picture!”
If people could act like we “play the keys,” well, what a wonderful world it would be. And it’s possible, because it happens every day. My sisters and I are very different, and we each have to adjust and flex with each other’s strengths and weaknesses. (And believe me, we’ve had our share of knocks trying to figure that out!) We have unique gifts and ideas to bring to the table, and some of them make it and some don’t. The goal still remains the same. Pursue harmony. Work hard for the final product. And enjoy yourself. Don’t waste time today fighting for your own rights. Pray that God will give you perception and wisdom for the good of the team. The rest of your world will appreciate it!
Biblical Meditation: 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.