Imagine if every member of a symphony tuned their instrument according to what they believed to be the A (440 Hz) versus everyone tuning to an agreed upon standard (such as the oboe)? Every musician would be playing his part well but would be out of tune with the others in the symphony. And instead of the “symphony” which means “together sound” it would be a dissonant cacophony of individual instruments.
The same thing happens when we, as individuals, decide to tune the instruments of our lives to our own pitch and not according to‘s, who is the master musician. Let’s face it, God has perfect pitch. We need to adjust our pitch to His, and not His to ours. Unity with the Father is precisely what Jesus prayed for us in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed:
That they all may be ONE, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be ONE in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be ONE just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in ONE, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17:21-23)
If we desire to be one with God, that requires us changing our tune. God can’t change His tune because His tune, by definition, is perfect, (and you can’t change perfection). God told us what is in tune with Him (what is right) and what out of tune with Him (what is wrong) and those definitions cannot ever change. What is right will always be right and what is wrong will always be wrong.
Thus, when we think about keeping the commandments, it isn’t just a list of do’s and don’t’s but rather it is God’s instructions on how to be in harmony or as Jesus prayed, to be one with him. The more we practice the things he told us to do, the more in sync and in perfect pitch with God we will be. The question really is whether we want dissonance or consonance? When we violate the things God instructed us to do (or not to do) we are playing our instrument to our tune which results in dissonance. When we follow his instructions, we are in consonance with God.
J.R.R. Tolkien illustrates this theme in his book The Silmarillion where the archangel Melkor (akin to) begins to play out of tune with the beautiful melody that Iluvatar (God) had begun which then begins to affect the music of the other angels.
Straightway discord arose about him, and many that sang nigh him grew despondent, and their thought was disturbed and their music faltered; but some began to attune their music to his rather than to the thought which they had at first. Then the discord of Melkor spread ever wider, and the melodies which had been heard before foundered in a sea of turbulent sound. (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion, Houghton Mifflin Company Boston: 1977, p.16)
In conclusion, if our true goal is harmony with God, then we must tune our instruments to His. In other words, we must live according to the instructions He has given because they are perfect. To live contrary to them will bring discord and break the unity that we desire. On the other hand, when we live in accordance with His instructions, then our lives enjoy His peace, His rest, and His blessing; in essence we play our part in perfect harmony with His symphony.