A beautiful, ebony grand piano sits in a room fashioned for the grandeur of the magnificent instrument. You have known and heard what beautiful music could come from it. You could sit and look at it for hours, but in any one of those hours gazing at it, would you gain any knowledge or understating about the music that can come from it? The instrument itself can’t teach anything. You could buy a house full of pianos and could stare at them. You could even sit on the bench and play the keys, and you would never know one thing of the beauty of a Bach Prelude, or a Beethoven Sonata. I’m sure you can see where I am gong with this. To understand, to gain knowledge we have to be taught by a teacher, not the piano. The piano is just the instrument, in and of itself its just wood, plastic and strings.
One piece by Mozart moved me so profoundly, when I heard it, and played it, I had this thought of the weight of pain and suffering we sometimes endure in this life, and then at the end of the piece Mozart transitioned to a major key and the piece just ended glorious and that part made me think of our restoration that is found in Jesus. Now, I could not have been taught that from the piece alone. It just came through the piece. The piece did nothing to teach me that there is restoration and redemption through Jesus. I’m quite sure Mozart wasn’t thinking that when he composed it, but for me the music was.a perfect backdrop for the truth that had already been illuminated to me.
CS Lewis said, “The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”
What are we seeking to try to get to God? What path are we taking? No amount of nature walking, mountain climbing, book reading, degree earning, charity giving, will bring us to a greater knowledge of God. Jesus said, “I am the way” If we want to understand and know God, read the Bible, pray regularly, and worship and serve with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Any other path will get choked. Anything can become a religion, a set of beliefs and worship, but is that getting you any closer to God?
I don’t want the counterfeit that will just break my heart. I want the tune in my heart that sings of His praises and for His glory. We have beautiful echos here that God has given us, nature, music, literature, family, but these things are echos of the glory that awaits. May those things point us to the source of the beauty.