Last week I convinced you that you were a visual person. Next, I blew your mind by helping you see that you can already draw. Today, I’m going to show you that you have the “magical” power to change things from one form to another.
I’m talking about transposition.
To transpose something means changing it into another form. We’re most familiar with this concept in music, where musicians transpose a piece from sheet music to chords, or from the key of E to the key of G. But transposition is actually the building block of all communication, art, and spirituality. Seriously.
I see a ball on the ground. Which makes me think of a ball. I describe it to you in writing. When you read the word ball, you are now thinking of a ball, and you see it in your mind’s eye.
So we’ve moved from real ball to mental ball to verbal ball to mental ball.
Transposition, several times over. See, you’re a master at this already.
Applied to communication, what we’re trying to do is transpose what we’re thinking, seeing, and feeling into a physical form—words spoken or written, a picture, a song, sculpture, dance, whatever—in hopes that someone else can transpose it for themselves. We want them to be able to see, feel, and understand what we’ve got inside us.
I’ve taken a word—transposition—and transposed it. I’ve defined it, illustrated it, and explained it. You’re reading it, mulling it over, looking at the picture. And the concept is taking form in your mind.
Transposition is powerful, because without it, we’re powerless to communicate, to make, to invent, to explore.
This weekend we celebrate the most flabbergasting transposition of all. We call it the incarnation—when the eternal God became finite flesh in Christ. If that weren’t enough, Easter weekend unpacks the stunning transposition of all our guilt and sin onto the Person of Christ on the cross. When he died, he took sin with him and killed it, broke it’s power. And then rose three days later—transposed once more, this time from death to life.
Christ’s mind-boggling offer is to take our finite flesh, our sin, our guilt, our shame, our dead-end destiny, onto himself. To transpose it. And then, to transpose us into his children. To transpose our sagging mortality into eternal life. Eternal life that begins to flow here and now, that can splash you even while you’re reading these words.
In my next post, I’ll reflect more on the exchange built into transposition, and why it matters.