First off, the title is kinda deceiving. I do play my guitar, just not as I once did. As I have mentioned, a little over two years ago, my wife and I accepted a youth pastor position. We were excited and enthusiastic about going. I love working with teens and my wife has a huge heart for them. One of what I thought was a key selling point for myself was that I had a background in music. I was always told that many churches wanted someone who could do both and I knew I could easily connect with teens through it. I already had at the previous church...I even helped start a teen worship band which I am still impressed at how good they have become.
After being there right at 15 months or so, we made the decision to leave. It was not an easy one, but with so many things getting in the way of our relationship with each other, having another baby on the way, and faith being shaken, it was time to step down and move. I was tired, worn out, discouraged, broken, and flat out done with doing all the churchy things. I had lost sight of who I was and what I was to be doing. I had accepted the responsibility of far too many things and was trying to fix so many things I saw that were broken. I had forgotten how important my relationship with God is, how important my relationship with others is, how important the time with my wife and kids is.
After we moved, I somewhat felt relieved. I was allowed to miss church. I was allowed to believe what I wanted to believe. I was allowed to have some freedom that being a pastor didn't allow.
That was almost a year ago.
Before we moved, I played a lot. I led worship with the teens every Sunday night. I wanted to play. It was part of who I was.
A couple weeks back, I was talking to my wife about how I didn't really play my guitar much any more. I wanted to, but couldn't.
Before we moved, my music was the only thing that was keeping my in anyway connected with God.
Now...I couldn't do it.....I couldn't play....it hurt to much to play....I was scared to play....I am scared to play.
My relationship with God is growing stronger. I don't know that it is as strong as it was before I became a youth pastor, but I know God is making me stronger because I was a youth pastor. Not because of the title, but because I did what He asked me to do.
Earlier when I said I play my guitar, just not as I once did, I mean I don't really worship God with my guitar. While talking with my wife, thinking about it, praying about it, and really trying to figure it out, I have come to the realization that I am scarred to play my guitar, because I am scared to worship God. That might sound odd to you, but anyone who plays or has played an instrument before by themselves to worship God, knows that it is an experience.
Music is powerful. Combine that with worshiping our Creator, Sustainer, and Savior and you have a very powerful combination. However, when you feel like you don't deserve it, that is a scarey place to be. Knowing that you are in the presence of God and that it is just you and Him is totally different than corporate worship. It is personal. It is a very vulnerable place to be. It is a place where you HAVE to be REAL. That, my friend, is a very scarey place to be.
Maybe you get it, maybe you don't. This has been one of the hardest things to write as it is so hard to put to words. My guitar meant so much to me. I have spent a lot of hours playing, loving, and worshiping with it. I just want to be in that place again.