Sunday, April 4, 2010

What Key Are We In?

I got to play the piano for my mom's church for Easter, which made me very happy. Partway through the worship set, we found ourselves in a bit of a conundrum. The song we were singing was written in C with the option for the guitars to Capo 5 up to G. I love the way that sounds on the guitar. It's a nice, fresh sound. Very colorful.

But something odd happened. It looked to me like the guitarist's capo landed on the right fret, but somehow, the song began in F. I'm not guitar-savvy enough to know how that happened. I had the chords for C and G on my chord chart, but not the chords for F. Nevertheless, when it was my turn to come in, I did. Big and loud. In the key of C. Ouch!

Realizing we were not in sync, I scrounged around for a couple of lines, trying to figure out which key the guitarist was in. Pounding out several very dissonant chords, I finally discovered we were in the key of F. Then I had to stop looking at my music and put my head down so I could concentrate on which chords were supposed to come next, because I didn't have the right chords in front of me, and looking at the chords that were in front of me would have completely thrown me off. On-the-spot transposition is definitely not my strength.

But God, in His great mercy, orchestrated that particular song to contain only four chords. So when I finally figured out what all the chords were, I was able to plunge ahead. Thankfully, the worship leader is such a solid leader that few people even noticed the error, and the song went off without a hitch. Just in a surprise key.

My family, all seated in the front row, watched me quizzically while I figured out what was going on. When I sat back down next to my husband, I explained what I thought had happened and asked, "Did it just look like I was fumbling along?" He nodded apologetically.

I pondered what in the world God wanted me to learn from the experience. BAM! The lesson flew into my head at lightning speed.

You see... the thing is... I *always* have an idea of what the right key is. In music, in life, and especially in my marriage. I wake up in the morning and announce to my husband that we shall be performing the Monday Minuet in the key of C, thank you very much. And I tell him the Parenting Concerto was clearly written in the key of E minor. And the Devotional Sonata is always played in D major.

But what does my husband do? He picks up an instrument I've never even heard of and proceeds to play the Monday Minuet in the key of F! He turns the Parenting Concerto into an oratorio, and after just a few bars in E minor, he modulates! Without warning me! And his Devotional Sonata is not a sonata at all. It's a aria. In French. I don't speak French.

Typically, when Jeff sends the orchestra of our life in these new directions, I protest. Hey! Stop the music! I thought we were playing in the key of C! Could you translate that aria into English for me, please? Ummm... about that oratorio. That's supposed to be a concerto, in E minor, period. What are ya thinkin'?

But the thing is... in our marriage, I don't make the rules. Jeff does. And don't worry. He's not bullying me. He's not domineering and overbearing. I've just chosen to place myself under his authority. Because I have made that choice, he's the worship leader and I'm the accompanist. He picks the key.

Was the key of F the "wrong" key for our worship song this morning? No. It was different. It worked fine. It just wasn't what I expected.

Is Jeff's way of doing life "wrong"? No. It's different. It works fine. It's just not what I expected.

The thing is, when Jeff and I are playing in different keys, it's not his job to revert to my key. It's my job to figure out what key he's in, and follow him.

I absolutely love the way God showed this to me in a language I understand. I've been trying to wrap my heart around the concept these many years.

I also love the way this applies to my relationship with God. Which of course is what my marriage is a picture of anyway. God and I are often playing in different keys. It's not God's job to revert to my key. It's my job to figure out what key He's in, and follow Him.

Then He said to [Becky]: "If [you] would come after Me, [you] must deny [yourself] and [change up your key] daily and follow Me." ~Luke 9:23