Tuesday, May 1, 2012

OnFire #278 We Are Not Guitars

OnFire Encouragement Letter
OnFire #278 We Are Not Guitars

It didn’t sound like it hit hard, but when a guitar falls off the stand it’s more about how it hits the ground than it is about how hard. Not long ago I knocked mine from the stand as I walked past. My hands were full, so I tried to catch it with my leg, perhaps to slow it down to minimize the damage.

The instrument pivoted around my knee and fell behind me so I didn’t actually see it land, but I knew it didn’t sound good. The strings rang twice as the back of the head hit first, followed by the body. Not good, I thought, but I hoped for the best. After all, it was not the first time it had fallen.

I picked it up gingerly, but it didn’t matter. The neck was broken where it joined the guitar. The foot joint, as it is called, was split.

The guitar was not an expensive one. I bought it used, not for its high quality, but because I loved its rich bass tones and comfortable action. It sounded better than its price tag, and felt good to play. Later I installed a pickup. A few people over the years have suggested it was time to upgrade because I’ve worn down the frets. I knew the time would eventually come, but in my mind, why upgrade when I loved the one I had?

It’s not worth fixing. I didn’t pay much for it, and it would take a lot of time at professional rates to repair and restore it. Perhaps if it had been better it might be worth it, but it’s not. I checked some friends who know about these things and it might be possible to glue and clamp it, but there is a problem with that, too. The broken joint isn’t wide enough to insert the glue. Too broken to play, not broken enough to fix.

Not worth fixing. There is something very depressing about that assessment. Not impossible to fix, but  not worth doing. How can that be? And yet it is, because of the simple economics. It would cost more than it is worth to fix it. I would never get my money back, and chances are it would never look or play the same again, either. Perhaps if there were some reason - historic or sentimental - I could justify it, but otherwise it is not worth fixing.

Life goes on and it is just a guitar, after all. But it made me think. I wonder if any of the angelic beings looked down at Jesus and questioned God for sending His Son. Did any of them suggest that the price to repair and restore humanity was too costly? Not worth fixing?

Sometimes we wonder. What about the times we blow it? How often is too often? How broken is too broken? Are we worth fixing? Is the cost too great?

It helps us realize God’s love for all of us. He sent Jesus for us. We must be worth it if he did not spare His own Son, as Paul reminds us in Romans 8:32.

We are not guitars, or cars, or something else that isn’t worth it to fix. God loves us. God’s economy is different from ours. We are not beyond repair. We are worth fixing, and he sent Jesus to do the job.

I hope this helps. Be on fire.


OnFire is a bi-weekly letter on faith and character written by Troy Dennis. This letter published Apr 26, 2012.  To subscribe or reply, email onfireletter@gmail.com. Archives are located at  www.onfireletter.com. Blog located at www.onfireletter.blogspot.com. Check out Troy's other blog at www.pastorofeverythingelse.blogspot.com

1 comment: