Learning To Play

“That sounds like ‘Summer of ’69.’”

No greater compliment could Barry, my guitar teacher, have paid me.  I had danced to “Summer of ‘69” at high school prom. I ran beside the Mississippi River with it playing through my earbuds. When I had my own little rock concert at home, complete with air guitar and hairbrush as microphone, “Summer of ‘69” was on the playlist.

I don’t know much about the song’s story or the singer, Bryan Adams. All I know is that I love the song. Apparently, I also knew the song better than I realized. Playing around with a D chord at this week’s lesson turned into learning the whole song.

Last summer I started guitar lessons as part of my Sabbath—the day that I set apart each week for quiet. Anyone who knows me knows that there is no biblical topic I love to discuss more than Sabbath.  I preached a sermon series on it last summer. I do a happy-dance when a Sabbath passage appears in the lectionary –which is not often enough. There’s a stack of books in my office on the topic.

For my own Sabbath, I try to unplug from the routine of work in order to plug in to the Spirit hovering over the still waters of rest. The more I observe Sabbath, the more I experience its complexity.

Taking time off is not just about “doing nothing.”

Sabbath also invites us to play. To learn to play. To learn how to play again.

As children, play came naturally to us. As adults, demands on our time prevent us from setting apart free time. Sabbath occurs when we intentionally devote time to freedom.

Christ has set us free for freedom. *

Through Christ Jesus, we are able to become like little children again—to play and rejoice in the playing, to rest and rejoice in the resting.

As children of God, how might we intentionally set aside time simply to remember that we are free?

Learning to play the guitar requires learning to play again. Playing with a chord leads to learning a song. Time devoted to play is not time wasted. Play reconnects us to the songs that make us smile and dance. Play reconnects us to the Source of our joy--the Lord of the dance.

Will you join me today in taking a moment to play? Sing with the radio. Dance. Do a few jumping jacks. Swing from monkey bars. Make a silly face.

Reconnect with the freedom of being a child of God.

Remember the Sabbath, and keep it rockin’.

all good things to each of you,
Pastor Darian

* Galatians 5:1 (Common English Bible)