As I ponder my first guitar lesson, I feel a sense of the Lord's presence. Not only from the grace and enthusiasm of my teacher, but also because of the profound way God can speak to us through such simple lessons. I'm reminded of the many parables Jesus spoke where He took incredible spiritual truths and encapsulated them in earthly examples.
Playing the guitar is foundationally simple. It is comprised of several chords played in a multitude of rhythms and positions. Once you learn the foundational concepts, the rest is just practice and application. What results after years of this, is a beautiful skill at making sounds that are (hopefully) pleasant to others' ears. It becomes second nature, and even more exciting, new opportunities to challenge your skill become the norm.
Can you see the picture of our spiritual lives here?
Our foundation is on the redemptive work of Jesus Christ's death on the cross. Basic disciplines in our life, like prayer and service (and sharing meals if you are a Methodist!), provide the practice and application of the most important element of all: bible reading. The Bible contains the basic chords and its stories show us how to play it in rhythm and position so that we can make music in our lives.
Consider it further.
I didn't mention the awkwardness of training my hands and fingers to move in new ways, or the sharp pain in your finger tips after just seconds of pressing on those strings. Or the concentration it takes to transition between chords, or the temptation to skip practice each day in lieu of something more instantly gratifying.
While many annoyances such as these lessen or fade with practice and application, new challenges always arise. In the end though, it is the foundation you choose and establish that sets the tone for the remainder of your journey.
Take time today to remember what you first experienced in Christ. And to freshen those foundational concepts. Ask God to show you where you may need a refresher. You'll be all the more grateful for it.