From my birth our Great Conductor was prepared to weave my life as a unique and lovely voice in His eternal chorus. I only had to follow His lead as together we would create my part in His choral symphony of joy and praise. Regrettably, I was able to tune my spirit to the joy-filled harmonies and energies with which He continually filled the world around me only after decades of discord. It was fortunate that I eventually arrived at that place at all; many miss it completely and forever. In some cases they never catch a single strain of that eternal anthem because they deny that the music exists. Einstein made a piercing criticism in this regard when he wrote:
Fanatical atheists...are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who — in their grudge against the traditional “opium of the people” — cannot hear the music of the spheres.
However, even though the rest of us believe in the music and that harmony and structure are at the core of existence, most of us fail to actually join the chorus in a joyful and satisfying way. The stresses, pressures, and diversions of day-to-day existence render us spiritually deaf; the grand melodies and harmonies flowing around us are drowned out by negative energies of arrogance, anger, useless competition, and pointless criticism. Many times our little song is reduced to dissonance, cacophony, and mere blatting noise. A popular notion holds that modern society’s media, gadgets, and other diversions make it difficult to lead healthy harmonious lives. However, 150 years ago Thoreau famously made an observation that was apparently as true then as it is now: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” he wrote, “and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
Not until late adulthood did I fully embrace the truth that finally enabled me to fully tune my life to “the music of the spheres,” to echo Einstein’s phrase. Following decades of studying the Bible and theology, I at last abandoned efforts to find choral directions in any doctrine or dogma and began simply listening for the chime of the Master’s tuning fork. My life gradually fell into sync with the melodies, rhythms, and cadences of the Universe as I learned simply to focus on the needs and desires of the people around me. A simple heartfelt prayer — “Make my life a blessing to everyone I meet” — began to connect me to the moral and ethical energies of wholesome and harmonious living. Being good for others turned out to be the key to achieving harmony with them, with the world, and with Heaven. As I genuinely began to live for others, I discovered that I was living for myself as well. I learned to dance to the music that now fills my heart and soul.
The principle, that it is by giving that we receive, supplies the core energies of the change. Rabindranath Tagore caught the heart of the idea when he wrote:
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.
Buddha chimed in with the observation, “A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.” Albert Schweitzer added a supporting note: “The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
Focusing on meeting the needs and wants of others effectively tunes me to the music of the spheres when it is genuine heart-service coupled with cheerfulness. The Apostle John wrote: “Let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love.” Then he capped it off by writing: “This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.” It’s a genuine truth. We truly do serve ourselves as we serve others. For example, working out Rotary’s “Service Above Self” motto and the “We Serve” of the Lions Club serve to keep members’ hearts in tune as they meet the needs of the people being served.
How tragic that so many of us waste decades of our short time on earth by not cultivating the joyful, generous, and loving relationships that tune the instrument of our lives to the symphony of the universe and to the heart of God!
How ignorant would it be to permit the dissonance and disharmony of resentment, guilt, shame, and bigotry to finally reduce our part in the symphony of to mere noise!
Let’s resolve never to let that happen or, if necessary, to stop it from happening now. Right now!
“Make my life a blessing to everyone I meet.” That prayer will keep your heart in tune and then the music of the spheres will fill your soul, your mind, and your life.