Guitar Strings

I played the guitar and sang for 40 adoring fans this morning. I hope you’re impressed.  It’s a regular gig, and the crowd all think I’m brilliant (they’re also all under six).

I’d just got going when I realised that the guitar I’d grabbed out of my son’s room at the last minute was slightly out of tune. *wince*

Fortunately preschoolers are not usually very musically discerning and this bunch were quite happy to sing ‘wheels on the bus’ even with my somewhat discordant accompaniment, but it was a pretty painful experience!

It may be that the lesson I need to learn from this is to be more prepared (or not to say yes in the first place), but as I did my best to fix the problem, God reminded me of something a friend said to me just yesterday about guitar strings:

Only one string has to be out- either a bit sharp or a bit flat, for the whole instrument to sound wrong.

The quickest solution to an out-of-tune guitar is to tune it ‘to itself’.  You pick a string you think is about right and then adjust all the others to be in harmony with it.. It works really well if the first string you pick is actually in tune, but even if it isn’t the guitar is playable and probably won’t make you wince when you strum it!

My conscience works a bit like this… If one part of my life is out of line with the others, there is a discord, a lack of comfortable harmony, and my conscience nags at me to pull that part back in line, in tune with all the others.

Perhaps this is what people mean when they talk about ‘being true to myself’. It’s about having the way you think and behave lined up and in harmony with the things you believe and value.  Like me trying to line up my urge to yell at the kids’ drama teacher with my belief that all people are valuable and deserve kindness; or making my desire to get myself out of trouble by telling a lie subject to my value of honesty and integrity. It’s good to be in tune.

A guitar that is in tune with itself usually sounds pretty good – unless you try to play with someone else.

Which is why groups of musicians working together tune to ‘concert pitch’, so that each instrument is not only in tune with itself, but also with something outside of themselves like a tuning fork or electronic tuner. This makes it possible for them to work together in unity and in harmony.

The process of discipleship seems to me to be a lot like tuning a guitar.  One day God might be drawing your attention to one ‘string’ and sometimes to another, sometimes to beliefs and sometimes to behaviours, but always with the aim of making changes that help you to become everything that you were designed to be.

Today’s postcard is a challenge to surrender to God and ask him what needs tuning in your life.

Because although it’s good to be in tune with yourself, it’s good to have the way you think and behave ‘tuned to’ the things you value and believe,  sometimes it’s those things need adjusting so that your whole life can be tuned to something better.

Take some time to stop and listen and see what he has to say to you today…

‘be transformed by the renewing of your mind’

because the music is going to be beautiful.

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2 thoughts on “Guitar Strings”

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