A few days ago I attended a piano recital given by pupils of a teacher I know. If you take music lessons, maybe you've played in one like it. Everyone from the littlest kid right up to teenagers and a couple of adult students played.
As I listened, I was struck by how each person there, no matter how young or old, had put quite a lot of work into trying to achieve harmony - agreeable sounds. For some people, that meant just trying to hit the right notes. For others, that meant exploring a depth and feeling of harmony that went beyond technical correctness.
I also got to thinking about all the other people in the world who right at that moment were working to find a different kind of harmony. Police and fire departments, by protecting their cities, were helping people to live in harmony. Peacemakers were thinking about and working for harmony in places where there was war.
Then my thoughts came back to the recital. None of the pupils had any difficulty hearing the difference between right notes and wrong ones. It was pretty clear that the wrong note really didn't fit into the music. And, you know, that idea of being able to tell what fits and what doesn't also applies in nonmusical things. The founder of the Monitor put it this way: "Harmony in man is as real and immortal as in music. Discord is unreal and mortal" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 276).
Harmony isn't just musical. It's getting along with your friends, parents, and teachers. Having a good feeling inside. Choosing to do things that will make you feel right about yourself. Being productive. Helping other people. It's actually about being the children of God. God is Love. When we think of ourselves as the children of Love, we can see more easily how acting in a good and loving way is natural and how it always leads us to harmony.
Even when things seem confusing, if you think about harmony, life gets easier. For example, intelligence, kindness, patience, and strength are qualities you get from God. Being intelligent, kind, patient, and strong makes you feel harmony right where you are. When you make decisions with this good outlook, you get much better results.
On the other hand, deciding to cheat on a test is like choosing to hit a wrong note on a piano. It doesn't really fit with how God made you. Or let's say someone gives you a hard time. Do you really need to hit a wrong note by fighting back, just to prove that you can do it? Where would be the harmony in that?
I think Jesus Christ was a master of harmony. This doesn't mean he had an easy life, though. You know how in music, the pieces become more demanding as you get more advanced? Well, Jesus faced the most demanding situations of all and succeeded in bringing healing to them. He was very advanced spiritually. Yet he had a simple response to those who asked where he got his ability. He said, "I can of mine own self do nothing:... I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (John 5:30).
What does that mean? True harmony always comes from God. Jesus showed that by knowing God better, and wanting to do what is right, we can overcome any obstacles in our path, whether they're sickness, unhappiness, fear, or whatever. The fact that millions of people around the world still seek to follow Jesus today shows what a master of harmony he was.
When you have a decision to make, or feel like doing something that isn't too smart, you might take a moment or two to think about harmony in your life. Consider your goals - wanting to do something good for yourself or your friends, for example. Think of the fact that God made you to be totally good, truthful, wise, and loving. Then, as you consider your course of action, you'll be better able to see if it will lead to harmony or not.
Nobody makes the right decision 100 percent of the time. I could tell you about plenty of mistakes I've made. But when I take the time to learn from mistakes, my life makes steady progress. And every time you listen for God's direction, and follow it, you'll be letting your life make beautiful music. This will help you, your family, and your friends.