Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tension is a passing note...

"But tension is to be loved,
when it is like a passing note
to a beautiful beautiful chord."

- Tension is a passing note, Sixpence None the Richer

I've always been fascinated by the topsy-turvy, oxymoronic nature of being a follower of Jesus. Jesus seems to delight in the paradoxical, often reconciling two polar opposites. Dying to live. Loving your enemies. Last shall be the first. Kingdom of God is here, but in the future. Divine sovereignty and human freedom. Assurance of salvation, but working it out. Entering his rest, but making every effort to enter it. Fallen world, but common grace. Sinner and saint. God and man.

And over the past couple of years I've become even more aware of just how much our lives are characterized by all these tensions, and how hamstrung we feel sometimes, pulled both ways. For the Christian, of course, we know that this is the way it will be until Jesus comes again. But even those who don't share my faith also know of various tensions in their lives, I'm sure. Family, or career? (Of course, the answer will be both, but it's quite a wobbly tightrope to straddle!) To keep on the go, or to put down roots? And so on.

And blogging is full of this tension too. It invites intimacy, but retains distance. It asks of the blogger to be selective in his material. So I think it appropriate to rename my blog "Tension is a passing note...", for as I seek to capture the tension that shapes our lives, I recognise that my own writing may be fraught with opposing forces wrestling within it as well.

Then tension sometimes can be unbearable, and we snap, crashing to the ground faster than a plunging lift. Which is why I think that little chorus from Sixpence None the Richer is such a beautiful reminder that the stretching and straining, this interplay of opposing elements will not always be forever. Till then, however, we live in the passing note, which feels so prolonged to us, but is in fact a brief dissonant tone, anticipating the transition into a harmonic symphony.

Meanwhile we look for little respites, a rest - a musical notation indicating a silence of a specified duration. It has been said that the rests in a piece of music are as important as the notes. Maybe blogging will be part of those little pauses, a break between acts before the drama moves on.

Hebrews 4:1-11

Anonymous Herng Yih said...

An apt name indeed. Maintain tension in the game of chess, thats what I recall from my past flirtations with the ancient game. Not unlike life, always engaging and keeping to the present moment, for everything else is secondary.

Also Tension force = k * distance. Not sure how that relates here...hehe. Keep blogging man.

5:49 pm  

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