Sitar Christianity

For the past six months, I have been learning to play the Indian sitar. For a novice, I think I’m starting to sound pretty good. My wife and kids say I sound like a screaming banshee.

I do not think they meant it as a compliment.

The sitar is an amazing instrument. It requires a completely different approach to music. Recently, my sitar instructor assigned me a very tedious task; play one string on one fret over and over and over for 15 minutes. Once finished, I was to go to the next fret and do the same. This was to continue for a total of eight frets which means I would play monotonous and meaningless sounds for two hours.. It also meant that my family would have to close the door to my study or go insane.

However, I discovered something very interesting after my practice session. I could easily and quickly identify the notes in a way I could never have done with any other lesson. My instructor tells me that In India, many instructors will not even teach their students any ragas, or songs, for at least two years until the master the basics.

Discipleship and playing the sitar have very much in common. Both take practice, instruction, time, dedication and a completely different way of thinking.

Many beginning sitar students expect instant results. So do many disciples. Many quit simply because they do not feel they are advancing as quickly as they want. Some give up because they get bored. Others stop because they simply move on to the next fad or interest.

Being a follower of Jesus often requires the mundane and “boring”. However, these experiences have a purpose. They prepare us for greater things. Jesus spent 30 years of his life preparing for his ministry. And he didn’t learn it in a seminary. Hebrews 5:7 tells us he learned it from his experience.

Keep pressing toward the goal. Don’t give up. Look at every experience, no matter how “little” it may seem, as a chance to learn from the Spirit.

Remember: God is tuning us so we can play important pieces in the symphony of life.

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