I don’t remember much from my English classes in my final year of high school. But one line from Bruce Dawe’s poem Homo Suberbiensis has always stuck with me. “One constant in a world of variables.” I can relate because our world is always changing. But in the face of endless change we need something constant, reliable, trustworthy. We need a middle C.
I’m not that old but I’ve experienced many changes. First there was Beta, then VCR, followed by DVD and now Blueray. I remember when computers used cassettes (this was before floppy disks, CDs, or DVDs.) One of my school teachers owned a mobile phone – a corded telephone housed in a box the size of a briefcase. It seemed impossible to think we would be using smartphones now. Cameras used film, and you couldn’t preview or delete photos before printing them. From a technological viewpoint our world is in constant change.
Why you Need a Middle C
Change makes people uncomfortable. Whether its new technology or learning new skills. A new job or new neighbourhood. Any of these can make us feel uncertain or even lost. We need something, or someone, who can lead us through times like these.
Max Lucado tells a story about Lloyd Douglas in his book Traveling Light. He writes:
“When Lloyd Douglas, author of The Robe and other novels, attended college, he lived in a boardinghouse. A retired, wheelchair-bound music professor resided on the first floor. Each morning Douglas would stick his head in the door of the teacher’s apartment and ask the same question, “Well, what’s the good news?” The old man would pick up his tuning fork, tap it on the side of the wheelchair, and say, “That’s middle C! It was middle C yesterday; it will be middle C tomorrow; it will be middle C a thousand years from now. The tenor upstairs sings flat. The piano across the hall is out of tune, but, my friend, that is middle C.”
God revealed his name to Moses in the Book of Exodus. Yahweh. It’s a strange sounding name and an equally strange meaning. It means “I AM WHO I AM.” Basically it is saying that God is wholly complete in himself. God wasn’t created, he simply was (Ps 90:2). Nor is there a time when he is not (Ps 102:25-27). And God’s ways don’t change. He is always true to himself (Ps 119:90). We always follow the words ‘I am’ with something. I am hungry. I am tired. God is I AM. He is uncreated, unending, and unchanging. Consequently he is our middle C.
How to Find Middle C
But how do we find God, the middle C? Jesus gives a clue in John 14:9. Seeing Jesus is seeing God. We see what God is like by looking at Jesus. More so, the writer of Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus is the middle C of life (Heb 13:8).
Jesus is who we need because our lives change. Circumstances change. Relationships change. Health changes. But Jesus does not. He is the one constant in a world of variables. Same love, same grace, same values. He is able to stabilise us when we face change. He is our middle C.