An old hymn from 1758 begins with the words: “O thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy praise.” These days we have all sorts of electronic gadgets and apps for instrument tuning, which takes some of the meaning out of the phrase. When I began taking music lessons, a few decades ago, I was given a simple tool called a tuning fork instead.

Instead of many notes, electronically replicated at the touch of a button, a tuning fork produces one. One clear, smooth, beautiful note from which all others can be discovered. Tuning requires much more work and a deeper understanding of music, but the process is actually quite simple. Strike the metal fork against a hard surface so that it vibrates with a perfect, pure, natural sound.

Similarly, God is the one note to which all others are tuned. There is nothing artificial about Him. Tuning our hearts to produce the same note requires work. Often it requires being struck again and again until we finally find the right note. Then when we have managed to match that first frequency, when the remaining cadence of our lives jars discordant against it, the even harder work begins to tune it all to a perfect scale from which the song of thanksgiving can be sung.

One day we will meet Him face to face, and all the voices of the faithful, tuned by trial, error, and dedication, will sing the new song of triumph and love.

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