About a year ago I was having some dental work done. Over the course of several visits, I’d find myself sitting in the waiting room…bored…running out of lives in Candy Crush.
I remember one visit in particular, I sat and listened to the radio the receptionist had playing. The radio was almost-but-not-quite tuned to a “Lite Hits” station (as if a trip to the dentist isn’t bad enough). The sound coming from the radio was equal parts static and Kenny G. The office staff went about their business seemingly without notice. It seemed that they were comfortable with, or had gotten used to, the fuzzy sound.
I sat debating whether or not I should get up and ask her to change the station, but then my name was called and I was on to more pressing matters. While I was being lowered in the dental chair, the sound of the fuzzy radio was replaced with the whir of the drill. But a thought stuck with me: This office staff was totally fine and comfortable with the static and fuzzy radio. It made me wonder if I was becoming too comfortable with the fuzz and static in my life.
It reminded me of how many times I can be “almost-but-not-quite” in tune with my creator. I get busy with worship preparation, song selection, practices, meetings, writing, recording and so on. Even though I am busy with good stuff—stuff that makes a difference, stuff that I feel extremely blessed to be doing—I find that if I am not careful, the stuff becomes more important than who the stuff was created for.
I can become like a bum-note on a piano…just a bit flat. When the note is struck on it’s own, it may sound fine. But when two or three notes are played together, a flat note will stand out and sound dissonant. Even folks that aren’t musically inclined can tell if something sounds off and out of tune.
In worship, we often sing “Join in the Sound” by Brothers McClurg. The song speaks about tuning our hearts and joining with all of creation to give praise and thanksgiving to God. Another favorite of mine is the hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Robert Robinson. The opening lyrics read like a prayer:
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Praise God for “streams of mercy, never ceasing!” I know I certainly need His mercy and grace. When I sense that I am almost-but-not-quite in tune, I need to take a time out and to allow myself to, “waste time with God.”
God doesn’t operate in guilt and shame. He doesn’t want us to simply check the box that we’ve spent time in prayer or scripture reading. And He’s not waiting to beat us up if we haven’t spent time with Him! Rather, He invites us to be a part of the song—the sound that all creation sings to His glory. It’s in a lifestyle of praise and worship that we can find the tune that brings melody and harmony to our lives.
Lord, tune our hearts!
~Submitted by Kevin Michael Thompson, Contemporary Worship Director