Thursday, July 01, 2010

Tuning Forks in the Road

The thought of a tuning fork occurred to me this morning as I was contemplating not only our first full year in New Home, but the reality of decisions that are upcoming. We are, as they say, reaching forks in the road which, once taken, can never be gone back on.

As I thought about the forks (both real and metaphorical) it occurs to me that really they are not just forks in the road, but tuning forks in the road.

For those of you that have never done music, you may have heard of a tuning fork. It's a metal implement resembling a fork (except with two prongs) which is struck on a surface to produce a pitch by which individuals and instruments can attune themselves to. The clear tone produced gives the performer an audible tone to adjust to, rather than a visual sign by a typical tuning meter. It can be a much more difficult process.

When we treat decisions as forks, we assume that there is a standard by which we are making that decision i.e. money, time, goals, etc. Based on what is going in my life, we say, how can I make the best decision to serve my own goals. But if we treat it purely as an objective decision without any reference to our heart or God's heart, we miss a valuable input into which decision is more correct.

Which is why decisions should be tuning forks in the road. When a decision is a tuning fork, we align our heart not to the externals, but to the internals: if God is resonating in my life (which He should be), what about this decision attunes my heart to the tone that I am hearing? As the process of tuning is one of aligning an instrument to the perfect pitch, so our decision making - our forks in the road - should be a process of attuning ourselves more and more to God and His will for our lives.

It takes practice, of course. Unlike regular decisions, tuning fork decisions require us to learn to listen carefully to the tone provided - and then adjust our lives and decisions to that. It will be awkward as we continue to adjust the various slides that improve our pitch, creating some fairly awful (and irreproducible) noises from our instruments.

But what a wonder to arrive at our destination with our lives in tune with the Master Instrument Maker, ready to perform in a far larger orchestra than any of our earthly decisions could have given us.

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