Thursday, April 13, 2017

Nothing Everyday is Still Nothing

As I type this, my guitar is sitting in its stand close by.  Do not misinterpret the words "my guitar" to mean I am a guitarist.  Having listened to my husband, daughter and son play the guitar beautifully, I am reminded what a novice I am.  

I bought my guitar on November 15th last year.  It was a purchase made after long thought.  The year before I had begun to play the ukulele, which I now describe as a "gateway instrument," since it planted the seed of playing the guitar.  

Gradually I begin to realize I could probably learn to play the guitar -- at least enough for me to have fun -- and possibly begin to understand the fret board.  Having been a piano player since I was thirteen,  I found the concepts of the guitar infinitely more complicated than the "laid out sequentially" piano.

As soon as I purchased the guitar, I began taking lessons online.  My progress was slowed by the fact I simply don't have a great deal of extra time to devote to practicing guitar.  I try to grab what minutes I have and I try to make sure I play at least a little every day.

When making chords on the guitar, one uses the soft tips of the fingers to press down the steel strings, (usually while contorting the fingers into impossible positions).  There has to be enough pressure on the string to change the tone of the string appropriately.  This pressure of soft tissue against hard steel results in callouses being formed on the ends of the fingers.  One thing I have realized is that if I don't play some every day, my fingertips soften up.  Then I must go through the painful process of reforming callouses.

I find that even though my time is limited, I have made progress.   I can now play a few songs and have begun learning to fingerpick, which I enjoy so much more than strumming. I like seeing my accomplishments, even if it takes me longer than most.  A little practice everyday adds up to a lot over time.  Nothing everyday is still nothing.

This is true with our approach to reading the Bible.  We may not think we have time to read the Scriptures every day, but I would say we don't have time NOT to.  Just a small amount of time spent in the Bible every day will add up to so much over days, months and years.  The Lord will hide those words in our hearts and quicken them by the power of His Holy Spirit.  In moments of difficulty, pain or temptation, they will come back to us as inspiration, encouragement and guidance.

In our chapel services at a local nursing facility, we read the Scriptures for five minutes each Sunday as part of the service.  We are now in our third reading of the New Testament and I am the one who primarily does the readings. One of the residents mentioned to me a few weeks ago that there must be very few people who have read the New Testament aloud three times.  She commented that it was a great blessing for them and it must be for me as well.  She is right, I feel quite blessed and honored to read the Bible in our service each week.

If we commit to reading even a little of the Bible every day then, after a chapter here and a chapter there, as time goes by, we will find we have read the Bible through.  Then we can simply begin again.

"Whom shall He teach knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people."  
Isaiah 28: 9-11

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, 
that I might not sin against Thee." 
Psalm 119:11

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