“Strike An “A” For Me”

During the recent storms, we discovered two very important items. When the lights went out I said “Where are the matches?” We both felt foolish, fumbling around for a box of matches. We did find a couple of flashlights, but after a thorough search we located the matches. The storm was approaching, the electricity was off and we felt helpless and vulnerable. Then we made a great discovery.

We switched on our portable and battery run RADIO. The wind was blowing and making weird noises. The radio suddenly became our best friend. The comfort of a human voice, other than our own, was heard above the confusion and fear. The reporting was smooth and without static. It was just comforting to know that someone was safe somewhere and was reporting the movement of the storm toward us. “Turn the radio up a bit,” I said, and as I laid my head back on the pillow I could remember my whole family gathering around the radio on Tuesday evening to hear “Fibber McGee and Mollie.” Each evening at 6:30, we boys would hear the call of the Lone Ranger,” and his Indian friend Tonto.” These, along with numerous other programs became our stage and theater. Radio was the old standby long before T.V. ever made its debut.

There’s another story told of the old sheepherder in North Dakota. He lived far from the nearest town or neighbor. He listened to the National Station, which was beamed out of New York. Being alone, those evening programs were just about the only thing he had to look forward to each day. This was his stage and theater all rolled into one.

He wrote the station a letter and his request was probably the most unique and unusual one they had ever received. Seems he used to play the violin as a youth, and one night while sifting through some old belongings in the attic, he ran across his old violin. It had been many years since he had pressed it to his chin. Tears welled in his eyes as he wiped away the dust and cleaning the bow, he began the initial effort to re-tune it. His letter read in part, “My violin is way out of tune and there is no way to tune it without some help. I wonder if on the next musical broadcast, you could pause long enough to STRIKE AN ‘A’ FOR ME?”

At first, the manager of the station laughed, but then he remembered his own childhood, living in the abandoned hills of Wyoming. He could remember the feeling of ‘just being alone.’ He didn’t play the violin but he could just imagine how frustrating it would be not to be able to tune it. A decision was made – the request would be honored.
Right in the middle of the next presentation of the New York Philharmonic, the conductor paused and directed his remarks to the old sheepherder. “Get ready old timer,” he said, and while the entire orchestra laid their instruments down an “A” was sounded and held for a full thirty seconds. All this was done so that one old man could play ‘in tune’ again.

Stop and think for a moment about the tremendous and far reaching application this has for life. Many attempt to play life completely out of tune. Others tune their lives to those about them, and while they do play, they harmonize only with those whose instruments are equally out of tune. Many instruments lay abandoned in the attic, collecting dust and never making a sound.

This is why it is so important to start with a standard. Dad’s instructions were simple. “Cut me 50 pieces of wood exactly this size.” He gave me the instructions and the standard by which to measure. After a few cuttings, using his measured piece as my standard, I thought, “Why not just use the one you cut as the standard for the next one?”

You know the results. The ones I cut were not measured by the original and eventually all of my cuttings did not measure up to the one Dad gave me. Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free . . . For all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thorougly furnished unto all good works” (John 8:32; II Timothy 3:16-17).

Go to the Book, it will give you the sound of a perfect “A”.

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