The Hum of a Ceiling Fan

September 23, 2008

A dear friend of mine is a writer of songs and a writer of words. She went through a period of time when all the songs she wrote were all the key of F.

“I wondered why I could not write songs in any other key,” she wrote. “It really bothered me. Not everything in F was the best range for my voice, or fit the song I was trying to convey.”

She thought she was in a musical rut. She prayed to get out of the rut, and still wrote in F. She got frustrated that nothing changed.

“But as one season changed into the next, I started writing in other keys. I thought maybe it was the lovely colors of fall, and maybe they evoked different keys in me.

I got so happy that I was writing in other keys. I thought, ‘I’m over my rut! Yay!!’

But one day, the heater was too much, and I went and turned on the fan…

…and I started playing even the new pieces I had written back in F.”

What’s up with that? She looked up and had this epiphany. The ceiling fan’s mechanical “hum” was in the key of F!!

All through the summer, she could only write in F because the background noise of the fan was her internal tuning fork. She kept going back to the F major key because the music in her head was tuned to the fan! She turned off the fan—and was able to think in other keys.

In Romans 8, Paul tells us to set our minds on the spirit instead of the flesh. And when we do that, the music of our lives is in the key of Jesus.

This blog post originally appeared at