A place for random thoughts from the life of a follower of Jesus.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Parable of the Guitar

Once upon a time, there was a young man by the name of John who was given a guitar as a gift. John was genuinely happy with the guitar. He began to take lessons, and with much practice became an excellent musician. He became so good that people commented on his guitar playing.

Invitations to play gradually arrived, coming faster and faster, thicker and thicker until John realized that he needed to do something to care for and protect his guitar as he travelled to perform at these various venues.

So, John took it upon himself to make a guitar case. After all, if he was to do much travelling with his guitar, it must be protected and cared for. John spent many hours thinking about what his guitar case would look like, and how it should be constructed. After much deliberation and careful making of plans, he set to work and made a special case for his guitar. And what a case it was! It suited the guitar exactly, and was most handsome and useful.

So great was the guitar case that it drew almost as many compliments as John's guitar playing. He took to displaying the case prominently on stage as he played. How he loved that guitar case! It protected his guitar, and enabled him to travel securely and thus to share his music with many others.

But something strange began to happen - not overnight, mind you, but little by little. John began to spend more time cleaning and polishing his guitar case than he did cleaning and practising the guitar. It got to the point that he practised little at all. And you, reader, can predict the result. Without consistent practice, John's ability on the guitar lessened, imperceptibly at first, then more dramatically , until he no longer was invited to play his guitar for others.

John was saddened by this, of course, but he still had his guitar case. It was lovely to look at and to hold, and held his guitar so well. And then it happened. I'm not sure when it first happened, but today, if you were to stop John on the subway and look in his guitar case, you would find it empty. One day he simply decided that the guitar case was too heavy with the guitar inside, so he left the guitar at home and carried the empty case with him. Oh, some days he still picks up the once-loved guitar and strums it a little, but without feeling. He wistfully remembers the old days when he played for large crowds of people. But those days are gone now. Thankfully, he still has his guitar case. It brings him some happiness and allows him to walk the streets like he has a purpose.

If you see John today, say hello to him for me, will you?


Anonymous Michael White said...

Most of us are Johns!We do not appreciate the true value of what we have; we are deceived by appearances;we often prefer form to substance;we drop the bone to pick up the shadow in the water.
From the Christian perspective, god has given us the greatest gift of all, His son; what do we do, we sacrifice the life in the Spirit for the things the world has to offer. What an exchange!We delight in cleaning and polishing our things; while the real gift of life is left to lose is lustre.

3:15 p.m.


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