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I haven't picked up my guitar but maybe 2 or 3 times since Hurricane Ike ravaged our lives. (For those of you who don't measure your life as pre-Ike and post-Ike as some many of my acquaintences and I do, that date translates to September 13, 2008.)

If you're an instrument player or an athlete or an occasional cyclist or a sometimes tooth flosser, you know what it means to be distant from your activity for a time and then try to jump back in. Your fingers have no callouses. You're not as limber. You get a charlie horse and a sore tushie. Your gums bleed. It's with the consistency of practicing at our given activity that we become more adept at it, more skilled, more graceful, more seasoned.

But, Oh! The getting started again is hard, Friends. Habits form quickly and easily. And it always seems that the bad habits are easier to form and harder to break, while the good habits take longer to gel and can be instantly forgotten.

I have great desire to pick up the guitar again. And the external signs . . . the God signs . . . the confirmations and affirmations that I need to pick up the guitar again have been surrounding me in a big way. So it's coming. I know that. I'm a bit anxious about it, really. I dread the pain of metal strings on tender fingertips. I'm already awash with self-loathing for all the songs that I wrote with my head and heart and hands that never made it to paper and that now I can't recall. It seems so much easier to just leave the guitar in the case, rather than taking it out for a spin.

Ah, but it all seems metaphoric for such bigger things in my life that need jump-starting. Spiritual things. Quiet time with God. More time in Scripture. Less time on Facebook. More listening. More prayer. Much more prayer. It's hard to get started . . . or get started again. But perhaps a renewed prayer life is the perfect activity to re-enter feeling uncalloused, unskilled, less graceful and unpracticed. And then, with consistency in prayer, we will become more adept at communicating with God, and even better at listening for God.

Grace and peace to you as you journey.

Yours in Christ,  



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