Discipleship: making real music versus playing air-guitar

Air-guitar ‘legends’!

When I was a child, I had fun jumping around to pop songs with a pretend guitar made out of wood scraps, with strings and knobs drawn on with a marker pen. Amazingly, this kind of thing is done by adults, in all seriousness, taking part in what is known as “air guitar” competitions (minus the pretend guitar – literally “playing” the air with a totally imaginary instrument). Many people find this hilariously entertaining. But in reality it’s a fantasy – people putting on a costume and pretence of musical ability but having no substance whatsoever!

Guitar Hero!

A step (or two!) up from air-guitar, we have the superbly fun playstation game “Guitar Hero”. When our kids were younger we had so much fun with this game, which gives the illusion of being able to play some of the greatest and most popular rock guitar songs. But that’s still the point – it is only and ILLUSION – a game that mimics the real thing.

The real deal

Real artistry in music, however, comes from hours, days, weeks and years of pickup up a real instrument and learning how to play it, usually with the guidance and help of someone who has gone before. I began learning how to play guitar when I was thirteen years old. And forty+ years later I am still learning and growing in my skillset and ability.

The difference between playing air guitar or pursuing learning a real instrument is a metaphor of what following Jesus is really all about. It’s about discipleship – both the joy and the cost of a lifestyle of daily learning from him.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30)

Let’s be determined to willingly take the yoke that Jesus offers us and learn from him – this is the daily lifestyle where the power of intimacy with God and inner transformation into the image of Christ will happen.