“How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!” Psalm 133:1
I love this verse from Psalm133. I feel uplifted just reading it. When I spend time thinking about it, my heart is filled with hope and joy. It is a wonderful and pleasant thought to think of us all living in harmony! Merriam-Webster defines “harmony” (beyond the musical definition) as, ” an internal calm” or “a pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts” or ” an interweaving of different accounts into a single narrative.” Take any one of these definitions and tuck it into Psalm 133:1 and a beautiful picture comes to mind.
I haven’t given up hope of the possibility of living in harmony on this earth. I know that is possible, but only if everyone desires the same harmony. I cannot make other’s aspire to live this way – but I certainly can pray for that to happen. In the meantime, there are things that I can do to work on my own harmonious contribution.
First, how well do I practice living a life of harmony? Am I bringing to the table of relationships an “internal calm?” Do I spend time with myself, my emotions and God to bring about a peace that only God can provide? Or, am I reacting to the emotions that bubble up in me everyday?
I must admit, I am not as good at choosing an action to my emotions as I wish I could be. I know that sometimes my reactions are nothing more than a knee-jerk behavior which more times than not will leave me feeling out of control. If instead, I pray and carefully consider an action in response, then I am exercising the only thing in life that I have control over and that is myself. In order for me to experience an internal calm, I need to exercise self-control and choose appropriate actions examined through lenses of compassion and grace. Lighten up, Jackie!
Pleasing Arrangement of Parts
Next, am I helping to create a “pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts?” What does that look like? Who gets to define that arrangement? Often times I find myself looking for something to fill my life with happiness and joy. If I feel a void in my heart, then I go looking in any and all directions for something to fill that empty place. I really need to let go of this quest and understand that the real answer is already waiting for me – and that is the grace and love of Christ.
I recently was turned on to an author that combines my two favorite topics into delightful reading material. Morton Kelsey writes about religion and psychology in an almost poetic prose. Although a heavy read and quite philosophical, it is delightful reading for those of us that groove on these two areas of study. Dr. Kelsey writes in his book, The Other Side of Silence , ” First of all, such love is not created by our own effort. It happens when we allow the love discovered inwardly, through meditation and ritual, to pour out through our deeds as Paul describes in I Corinthians 13. It takes discipline and fortitude to allow this healing spring to continue to bubble up in us. Allowing love to work through us takes some doing, but is far more certain than relying on our own efforts.”
Think about it…to open our hearts to the reality of God’s love for us, fills us to such a depth that we cannot keep the love inside. God’s love will bubble up in us and through us to others. It pours out of us because it can’t be contained! Can you imagine living your life with such an over flowing heart, filled with so much love that you couldn’t help but spill it out – all over?! Now that is a “pleasing arrangement of parts!”
A Single Narrative – Love
The word picture of love bubbling up naturally spills over into the third definition of harmony, an “interweaving of different accounts into a single narrative.” I want you to close your eyes for a moment and just picture it…what would the world look like if everyone allowed God’s love to flow into their hearts? Everyone would be experiencing such joy that their cups would literally runneth over and love would be spilling around on and to everyone. The interweaving of these streams of love would bubble up into a narrative of contentment, joy, peace, kindness – all that could be good in the world! This picture fills my heart with hope and joy. It is what God and His love is all about. It is really all we need!
So, I begin today with this picture in mind – God’s love flowing into my heart, bubbling up and spilling in harmony to all. That is what I can do about living in harmony! I can allow God’s love to fill my heart, and then I can joyfully allow it to flow throughout my day and into the world through my actions, attitudes, and words. I can choose to live a life of love! Care to join me?