Lessons from a banjo… Not something I ever expected, but that is often how God works, isn’t it my friends? God teaches us things in the most unexpected ways. Meeting us where we are… and right now, I am listening to a lot of banjo…
My husband has wanted to learn to play an instrument for a long, long time. I bought him a guitar on our 2-year “dativersary”. That was 13 years ago. It broke this past summer, right when he was finally starting to get the hang of a few chords. It would cost more to get it fixed than what I paid for it, so he has gone with out while trying to figure out what he wanted to do…
Enter the banjo. My precious has always loved bluegrass (and therefore, I have also learned to love bluegrass) and has often said that once he got the hang of his guitar, he would like to learn to play the banjo. So when talking about how he missed his guitar one day, the subject of replacing it with a banjo came up, and he started researching and finally found the one he wanted. It is a Goodtime banjo, by Deering. Maybe that means something to you, it doesn’t really to me, but it makes my man happy, and I’m covered on the gift department from now through Christmas ;) Happy Dativersary, Valentines, Anniversary, Father’s day, and Birthday my precious!
If you have ever learned to play an instrument, you know that you have to trudge through the baby steps to get to the fun stuff. My precious is struggling with that right now. Right now he is having to work on technique and mastering the “Brush Stroke” and “bum ditty” – when he really just wants to bust out some “I’ll Fly Away” or “Cripple Creek”. He keeps trying to play the songs, when he just isn’t ready yet (he hasn’t even had his banjo a week), but in his heart and mind he can “claw hammer” like a boss. One day he will be able to, he is determined to succeed, and I look forward to the day we can sit around with our kids singing some great bluegrass gospel tunes, and some fun folk songs, but in the mean time he is going to keep trudging through the boring baby steps so that one day he will soar.
It’s the same thing I struggle with. It dawned on me this week that his struggle and mine are one in the same. We want the fun, the rewards, the goal or prize, but we don’t really want to have to take the baby steps to get to it. In my mind I understand that the hard work must be put in. That grit, determination, hard work, and prayer are what it takes to succeed. But I have a goal! I see the prize – and I want it!! I want it so bad!! Just like my husband wants to be able to just pick up his banjo and strum a beautiful melody, but he just can’t yet. It’s going to take hours of time and practice, broken fingernails, and broken strings. The same goes for me. It’s going take time, hard work, prayer, determination. A can do attitude, a willing and joyful spirit. It is going to take me getting out of my comfort zone. I’m going to have to “get busy“.
Life is full of baby steps to get us where we need to go. A baby must first learn to lift its head, then it rolls, then it crawls, then it pulls up, then it walks, then runs… The baby steps never really end do they? You have to learn letter shapes and sounds before you can read. You have to know basic math facts before you can solve complex problems and formulas in math and science. I am teaching these lessons to my children, and in turn God is using them to teach me as well. Just like he is using a banjo to teach me a valuable lesson, even though I am not learning to play it.
If I want to lose weight, I am going to have to eat right and exercise. Is it fun – no. Is it worth it – YES.
If I want to build my Healthy Home business I am going to have to stretch out of my comfort zone. But is it worth it? Yes!
If I want my children to obey, and develop godly character, good morals, and habits – I am going to have to teach them. I am going to have to set the example. I am going to have to be firm and consistent. Is it going to be hard – yes. It it worth it – YES!
If I want a clean house, I am going to have to break bad habits, and get up and do the work! I have to get rid of the clutter, actually take things to the dump or donation sites. Will it take time and hard work – yes. Will it be worth it? YES!
It is like that with all of life. Relationships take work. Marriage is hard work. Raising kids is hard work. Even friendships take hard work. Nothing in life is easy. We have to decide what is worth the hard work, and we have to pray for God to give us strength, because I know that there is nothing I can do on my own. I need Him!
That is what I have learned from a banjo.