At some point into the third year of my intermittent guitar practice, I realize I will neither morph into Carlos Santana nor will I ever make the Rolling Stone’s top-fifty guitarists’ list. Regrettably, this realization dampens my inclination to pick up and practice guitar rather than causing me to redouble my efforts.
Soon, the fine dust, which sifts through every room of active living, begins to collect on the curvaceous edges of my old friend’s body and her polished surfaces. The only time my old friend is dusted off is when we have our irregular dates which tend to fall on three-day weekends and during the holiday season, when I still like to muddle through several of my favorite Christmas carols.
Less guitar practice produces more time for devotional meditation. Almost daily, during my devotional practice, I sit in silence waiting for some type of assignment to arise—whether it is an errand of selfless service or something having to do with selfcare. And, as these nudges regarding the directions of my time arise, I attempt to fulfill them.
Devotional work produces a tremendous amount of joy—whether it is handing-off a burrito to a homeless man, opening a door for someone with overly full arms or simply working in my yard to plant flowers. And, life experience has taught me to heed the wisdom of the timing, direction and instructions provide by Grace over my own limited and short-sighted sense.
Then, on one Christmas day while I am taking a quiet, solo walk through our neighborhood—five or six years and three states away from the time and place of my guitar’s acquisition, I happen upon two Latino men who are hard at work, putting the finishing touches on a front porch of intricately laid stone masonry.
The neighbors and neighborhood are tucked in and out of the cold, while enjoying friends and relatives-either here or afar. Thus, it is amazingly silent. My connectivity to the Universal Thread remains undisturbed amid the silence and what feels like an open channel, without a trace of static.
I wonder to myself whether or not I should return home to fetch these men some of the scones I have just baked, when another directive comes through quite clearly, “Go get your guitar.”
In terms of Divine guidance, this is one of those instances where my Adam’s apple does an actual chin up and a large cartoon bubble appears above my head with the word G-U-L-P spelled out in all caps. Stunned by the relative magnitude of the request, I decide to walk home quickly and follow through on my leading, before I can over think it. On the way home, I remember that earlier this morning I asked God to help me become a reliable agent of Christ’s Grace. If handing my guitar off to these men causes me to fulfill my own request, then this is what I must do.
At home, I dust off my guitar and place my old friend in her case. With the guitar and case in hand, I walk briskly back to the house where the men have been working during their off hours, laboriously rehabilitating this once damaged structure over the past several months. Without almost any words, the guitar is handed off. I watch as one of the men places my old friend in the semi-heated shell of the house. Then, walking more slowly, I make my way back home.
After reentering our front door, I peel off my coat so that I may return to my meditation cushion. I need and want to understand what has happened.
Intellectually, I know that the guitar is technically only an object. And, my guitar had certainly become an under-used and much neglected object. Yet, the degree of attachment that I had to the guitar was far more profound than I had anticipated, given the emotions I am dealing with upon its relinquishment. In working through some of my heart’s emotional discomfort, I remind myself about the importance of needing to trust—of practicing Trust.
Then, in a sliver of space between my milling thoughts, the Divine reassurance that I need comes, “The guitar will keep someone from seeking comfort in drugs or alcohol.”
With this reassurance, everything becomes a little brighter and my Spirit finally settles down. Happy Christmas to All!