Continued from here.
In his book, The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis uses the analogy of a heavenly orchestra in which all of the individual instruments play together in harmony as one to create beautiful music together. If you, I, and everyone else in heaven were the same, it would be comparable to all of us playing a C# on a flute. That would not be a very interesting piece of music to listen to. The beauty of a symphony comes from many different types of instruments playing different notes in harmony, creating beautiful music that wouldn’t sound that great if you only listened to one of the instruments in isolation.
The music we create comes from continually giving of ourselves so we may fill up with God. The process of emptying ourselves creates the music that we add to the harmony of heaven,
…and the great master Himself leads the revelry, giving Himself eternally to His creatures in the generation, and back to Himself in the sacrifice, of the Word, then indeed the eternal dance ‘makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.’”
Lewis then ties this concept in with the premise of his book by pointing out that the suffering we endure on earth is preparing us for the dance of heaven:
All pains and pleasures we have known on earth are early initiations in the movements of that dance: but the dance itself is strictly incomparable with the sufferings of this present time. As we draw nearer to its uncreated rhythm, pain and pleasure sink almost out of sight.”
I have even considered the orchestra in my own life. My life has had many low notes on the bass and tuba from the painful experiences I have been through, but I have also experienced the high notes of the flute and violin through the joys. As I look back over my life, I have the ability to see both the joys and pains from the perspective of the totality of my life that I have trouble grasping during any particular season, whether joyful or painful. Every experience, woven together, has created a song that is my own – one that only the Father hears. As I continue to learn to empty myself and fill up with Him, I prepare myself for the dance of heaven.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace playing the saxophone. Courtesy Bitmoji.]