Back in the day when I used to play guitar (I mean 'way' back in the day), one of the continual struggles I had was keeping it in tune. I always had to begin by setting the first string with my pitch pipe and then go from there. I have known others who play piano and often comment how moving a piano will cause it to sometimes go out of tune. It is like the wood gets tweaked ever so slightly and with that 'tweak' the strings that were once spot on with pitch are now out of tune. If you have ever worked within the framework of a team having to complete some type of project together, you may have noticed just how 'out of tune' you can get with each other when one goes off doing their own thing, or someone doesn't explain the steps well enough and you just have to guess how to proceed. In a matter of time, the project that was pretty straight-forward has a few more nuances that you are challenged with just because of the subtle shifts in process design or work the team took. It is hard to remain 'in step' with each other, isn't it? To remain 'in tune' within relationship with each other takes some work, but just as with my guitar or the piano tuner, there is this need for a 'pitch' determiner in our lives. The guitar required the pitch pipe, the piano the tuning fork. In relationships, don't we wish it was as easy as plunking on a key and turning a knob to get us into 'perfect pitch'?
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. (Colossians 3:15)
It is Christ who acts as the 'pitch setter' in our lives. If we don't forget that important fact, we are more likely to be 'in tune' within relationships! It still takes a little bit of 'tune up' to remain 'in tune', though. Just having a pitch pipe didn't keep my guitar in tune. I had to use it and make the adjustments to the strings until I heard the same pitch from the string as I was hearing from the pitch pipe. In much the same way, we need to hear Christ 'tuning us up' according to the perfect pitch he sets and then make the subtle adjustments in our lives until we are as close to that pitch as possible. Words, actions - every detail of our lives - totally and willingly submitted to the 'tuning' process God uses to bring us into that perfect pitch.
To be 'in step' is a beautiful thing. If you have ever observed a well-rehearsed marching band, or military unit on the parade field, their movements are crisp, sharp, and 'in cadence' with each other. There is perfection in their movements. God desires we remain 'in step' with him first - allowing him to set the cadence by which we walk out our lives together, but then he sets out the expectation that we will also work hard to remain 'in step' with each other as we follow that cadence together. When two walk together in such a manner you might even say they are 'equally-yoked'. In the old days when oxen were yoked together, a wooden cross-piece was fitted around their necks. Do you know why they used two oxen instead of one? It made the burden of the work easier!
God might just be focusing so much attention on us being 'in step' with each other because when we are it makes the work easier for us. Did you realize the science behind two oxen being yoked together actually shows they don't just have 'twice' the capacity to work, but they can have as much as four times the capacity of work just by being equally yoked. Whenever the two oxen are 'unequally-yoked', one pulling against the other, or perhaps just lagging behind a little, the work they produce is significantly less than what would be produced by even one! Let our words be united - putting no division between us. Let our actions be in unison - allowing each step we take be a furtherance of our mission in this world. If the believers will begin to focus on being 'in tune' with Christ first, then allowing that 'perfect pitch' to be set within their relationships with each other, imagine the work we might actually do! Just sayin!
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