Isn’t it interesting that when you add equal parts hot water and equal parts cold water in the same container that you get a temperature that’s in the middle of the two? There is probably a very scientific term here that I do not know, but suffice it to say, you don’t think about if the water is actually going to combine or not, it just does. The cold gets a little warmer and the hot gets a little colder.
In other words, they live in harmony. Depending on the temperature desired, you add the right amount of cold or hot. The water molecules are moving at different paces – the molecules in hot water are moving very fast, while the molecules in cold water are moving very slow. They literally can’t stay separate when they are combined together – they interact to create a new temperature because, that’s what water does – it becomes one unit when it comes into contact with other water molecules.
Science lesson aside, I’m obviously setting us up to talk about something in human life; living in harmony with one another.
Romans 12:16 tells us to, “Live in harmony with one another.” While 1 Corinthians 1:10 pleads with us, “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement.”
These words harmony and unity get thrown around a lot – let’s break down their definitions.
1. The combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords and chord progressions having a pleasing effect.
2. Agreement or concord.
1. The state of being united or joined as a whole.
2. The number one.
I love that first definition of Harmony. Let’s go there a sec. What if we all were our own musical note? To make sweet music we would have to learn how to use our own beautiful note simultaneously with the notes of others. They work together to create something beautiful by each one being their unique note and playing in tandem with the other notes present – without having unique notes and those unique notes working together, you don’t have music, you just have sound.
Just like music can have dissonant sounds, so we too can be dissonant with each other. You have to want to live in harmony for there to be any effort made to do so.
This is something that I feel particularly strong about – it’s one of my “unique musical notes” that I contribute to the overall symphony you could say.
When the people in my life are in disagreement and can’t see eye to eye, it gnaws at me until we are in harmony again.
I feel this right now in our country, and ultimately in our relationships. There is so much discord over the issues going on in our nation – for good reason. These issues are complex, highly emotional, and not easily solved.
Something I learned in my Psychology education is that when high emotions enter the picture, empathy, compassion and logic literally go out the window. Meaning, you are going to have a heck of a time trying to at least meet in the middle about an argument when you feel passionately about something.
BE PASSIONATE. Be you. Be bold. And remember you are talking with another human being who also feels passionately about something.
Not every issue has a right and a wrong, good and a bad. A lot of times, issues just have different ways of looking at them because like it or not, the issues plaguing our world are multifaceted and have a ton of grey areas. We don’t have the luxury of lumping things into “black and white” categories. There also is the added element of other people seeing things and valuing things differently – that’s what makes us unique because we each have something we bring to the table. We each have something that has been placed inside of us to protect, feel passionate about and bring to the world.
This was really hard for me to learn; I have the only child, oldest sibling syndrome – I have really good ways of doing things and usually they turn out well. It took me a long time to realize my way was NOT the only right way. (granted there is only one way to salvation – Jesus Acts 4:11-12)
My way is right for me in that I may value efficiency in a situation, so when I make plans that is in the uppermost of my mind. It’s a win for me when I can spend as little time possible getting the things I need because I don’t want to be in the store longer than necessary. Whereas, someone else may value the journey and experience of shopping and makes plans to linger in certain stores or sections because they enjoy the process of finding the perfect item.
Both of those ways are so good. They also aren’t going to work for everyone. The key here is not judging someone because they have a different way they like to do things – it’s acknowledging that they are allowed to be who they are just as you are allowed to be who you are. We can appreciate how each of us are made instead of feeling threatened. I need those adventure loving, go with the flow, enjoy the journey friends because I need that in my life – sometimes its just nice to let go of all the details and have people give you permission to experience life in other ways. We literally need each other.
I say all this because there are a few issues that have been on my heart lately that I have experienced push back on because I just see them differently. There are definitely some things that will always remain black and white, good and bad – but let’s be slow to speak and quick to listen and not just assume our way is the right way immediately out of the gate. Let’s take time to hear each other out without feeling defensive or threatened, because who knows, maybe there is a way they will broaden the way you see something. I don’t ever want to hold on to something so tight that I can’t let anyone speak into my life.
In the end, if you still feel the same way, that’s great – it’s ok to “agree to disagree” on some things. Living in harmony doesn’t mean seeing things the same way, it’s learning how to live with each individual note regardless the way it sounds. If all the notes were the same, we wouldn’t have such awesome music.