You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
No one quite knows how old the piano is, although it is likely to have been made 100 years or more ago. Whilst it has stood in its present position for over fifty years this was not its first home. It had once stood in the front parlour of the family home, where it provided pleasure to family and friends for many years. This was before the all pervading television demanded our 24 hour attention, in a time when we had to make our own entertainment. She would accompany her father who played violin. The whole house would echo with a beautiful rich sound of the piano as her fingers flew over its keys whilst he coaxed a melody from his favourite instrument. Of course there were times when she had to spend hours in the icy cold room practising for her music exams – no central heating in those days - up and down the keyboard endlessly playing scales. It all paid off when she received her diploma. Sadly it does not get played quite so much nowadays, arthritis having taken its toll on her fingers. Nevertheless the piano gets tuned regularly so it is in good condition; nearly as good as it was when it left the factory all those years ago.
So we can take from this the memories of the happy times or of the hard work needed to acquire her diploma. But what about the fact that the piano has to be tuned regularly? Do our lives need to be tuned up? Are we up to concert pitch or are there a few discordant notes in there? Or maybe we are not using the whole of the keyboard but just playing the black notes? Do we need to ensure that the focus of our life is where it should be?
Here is a quick five step way to check if you really are in tune with what God wants of you. Each evening try to spend a few minutes with this prayer review.
1 Thanksgiving. What am I especially grateful for in the past day?
2 Petition. I am about to review my day. I ask for the light to see myself as God sees me.
3 Review. Where have I felt true joy? What has troubled, or challenged me? Where have I found God today?
4 Response. In the light of my review, what is my response to God
5 A Look Ahead. As I look ahead what comes to mind? With what spirit do I want to enter tomorrow?
My Catholic friends will recognise this as a form of Examen but it really doesn’t matter what you call it, or from what tradition it comes. A regular tune up will ensure that we are all in harmony with God’s purpose for us. The beautiful rich sounds of God’s creation will echo through the house again. It will also help us to answer the next question; what more can I do for God?
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time work for a number of years