I’m sitting here, in a purposefully quiet home, on this gloomy Pacific Northwest afternoon, listening as a gentleman works to tune our piano in the next room. Over and over, the same note is played with only minor variations in key. Granted, this repetitive sound might annoy me on most days, but today, it has inspired me.
We inherited our piano from my parents three years ago, and until now, I’m not certain the last time it was professionally tuned. The funny thing is, though, that it didn’t sound out of tune to me over the past five months since my daughter started playing.
Now, as I’m listening to each note adjust, I realize how far off pitch the instrument truly was.
You see, when only one note is out of tune, everyone notices immediately—unless, of course, you are tone deaf. In fact, one note that diverges from the others is difficult to ignore! But, when every note slowly slides down the scale over time, the variation in key is difficult to determine.
Admittedly, this next part will seem off topic, but stick with me, I promise I am going somewhere with it. Please take a few minutes and watch this short video:
Pretty interesting, don’t you think? This is a video used in classrooms across the country to teach our children. Did anything from that lesson stand out to you?
Here’s what I think: I keep hearing people comment that this world is going to hell in a hand basket. Why is there so much violence? Why a lack of appreciation for the value of life? Why do kids seem so undisciplined these days? Why has bullying become such a big problem? Why are poverty levels so high? Why? Why? Why? Why is this happening when we should be so much more enlightened than we were centuries ago, and things only seem to be getting worse?
Mainstream voices in society are teaching a philosophy that seeks to turn us away from belief in an unseen Creator, and focus more on the assumption that mankind is better off believing only in what is observable within the realm of scientific understanding. Over the past few decades, society has slowly drifted off key, only caring to recognize what is immediately observable, and nothing more. At first, the deviations in pitch were slight and went relatively unnoticed—or if they were noticed, many ignored them because the song seemed unaffected. Now, though, the music is beginning to sound abhorrent. We struggle with the fact that the human race is more out of tune than ever before, and we are left questioning, why?
What really stood out to me in this video, and what my pastor, Robin Dugall (link to his really great blog here) spoke on a few weeks back, is the fact that because we have drifted away from belief in God, believing only what is known through scientific observation, we learn exactly what is expressed in this video: YOU are the center of your own universe. You have no greater calling, no reason to think of anyone else—unless, of course, that person has the ability to serve you in some manner.
Can you imagine the ramifications of a society where everyone believes themselves to be the most important and deserving person in the world—the center of the universe? The scary thing is, I don’t need to use my imagination—that society surrounds us today.
I’m not here to say science is bad and we should return to a completely theistic society. I think it would be just as detrimental to discount what we learn scientifically as it is to discount belief in a Creator. Science is AWESOME and can definitely teach us a lot about our universe—but what about that part of the universe briefly mentioned in this video—the part that remains an unseen mystery? The part this narrator gave a little credit to in that last line of the video stating, “You are the center of the universe, and so am I, and so is everyone else, and so is no one.” What about that “so is no one” part? How do we focus on the fact that just because we have not seen what lies beyond, does not mean there isn’t something more? How do we resolve the issue that none of us are at the center of the universe—that it is not healthy for any of us to think that way—and that perhaps there IS something greater calling us to a greater purpose?
I’ll leave you with these questions: Are you the center of your own universe? Are you teaching your children that they are the center of their universe? How do we all get back in tune, because we definitely need an adjustment?
Next blog post coming soon: Designed to Worship—Whom Do You Love?