Hitting the high notes
A favorite trumpet player of mine is an expert at hitting the high notes. The distinct sound of his horn can be heard soaring above the other players in his band, particularly when the music is building to a dramatic conclusion. The effect is occasionally noisy but more often triumphant. To me, his music at its best is a reminder of life's victories - the limitation we finally shattered or the bit of recognition we won at long last.
In music, of course, too much of the same thing can lead to monotony. The impact of the soaring trumpet is lost if it's always soaring, if the pyrotechnics are unrelenting. But that's not the case with the good we experience - not unless we're misunderstanding its nature, identifying it with worldly, materialistic aims and achievements. Materiality is inherently monotonous, because it's contrary to Spirit, God, who is the only genuine provider of good or of satisfaction.
God is good itself, as Jesus taught, and God's will for man expresses His nature. So it's our divine right to make each day a kind of victory in proof of His goodness. But the victory we might look for is even more significant than a pat on the back or the accomplishment of some cherished goal. While these may be welcome evidence of good, there's an even deeper dimension to the concept of daily triumphs. It's the ongoing feeling of God's care and of our actual nature as His likeness. In a manner of speaking, we're hitting those triumphant high notes each time we glimpse something of this spiritual reality, unseen by and unknown to the physical senses.
''Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life,''n1 Christ Jesus instructed. And the Apostle Paul clearly stated, ''The things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.''n2 It's clear that laboring for momentary glory, or for something that isn't truly promoting our own or anyone else's well-being, is laboring ''for the meat which perisheth.'' We won't hit the high notes this way. But we'll also be missing out if our sole focus is on the short-term goals and mundane activities that seem to have such an immediate bearing on our lives.
n1 John 6:27
n2 II Cor. 4:18.
We're told that when Jesus visited the home of Martha and her sister Mary, Mary ''sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving.'' When Martha asked Jesus if he was concerned that she was left to do the serving alone, Jesus answered, ''Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.''n3
n3 Luke 10:39-42.
Mary chose ''that good part'' because her primary devotion was to things eternal, to the unseen spiritual realities revealed by Jesus - and revealed to all today who are humbly receptive to the Christ, the timeless divine message of truth to humanity. The Christ reveals reality - not as an unpredictable mixture of good and evil, of ups and downs, ending in inevitable decline, but as totally good, eternally progressive and satisfying.
To begin to discern this truth is to recognize the nature and basis of our salvation. It's to glimpse the perfect, infinite realm of Spirit, the realm in which we actually live and have our being, and to see Spirit, not matter, as truly substantial.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ''Mortals must emerge from this notion of material life as all-in-all. They must peck open their shells with Christian Science, and look outward and upward.'' 4
n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 552.
We'll perceive and adopt this immortal view - a view that brings the practical fruits of physical healing and moral regeneration - as we're faithful to Jesus' teachings through purity of thought and action; as we set aside moments to commune with God, quietly listening for His direction; as we get better acquainted with the Bible's healing message. Then we'll begin to soar spiritually. We'll find that the high notes aren't just the high spots in the career of a mortal, but the daily, hourly moments when we've clearly discerned something of divine reality and have thereby built for eternity. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2.