Out of tune.

Good day everybody. In case you're one of the few people who are reading the blog from somewhere other than Pittsburgh, understand that we are absolutely buried under 21 inches of snow. For the first time I've ever been through, church was cancelled this morning. Lots of churches were cancelled. I was supposed to speak at Hillcrest Church this morning. Nope. So Sarah and I sat on the couch and did the right thing. We watched Rob Bell.

I haven't watched/listened to Rob in a while. And one of the lines that stuck out from me was when Bell said "I know a couple of live in tune with the restoration of all things." And once again, he spoke right to me as of late.

Lately I've been feeling off my game. Not drastically, not self destructively, not even in a way that I think many people would notice unless I said something. But things just haven't been as they should be. Or at least not as good as they could have been.

I thought about the exact phrasing of "in tune with the restoration of all things" and took it quite literally. I play a lot of guitar in my free time (and even some for work!) and have on more than a few occasions noticed that my guitar will slip out of tune. Just a string here or a string there. This of course doesn't mean that the guitar is broken or worthless or anything. It just means I need to take a couple of seconds to get in tune.

The easiest way is to stop playing for a second, and in silence step on a tuning pedal and get everything straight before moving forward. The metaphor applies here to those of us who work in the church. Maybe sometimes you need to stop playing the Christian and get yourself in tune with the living Christ.

The other way a lot of guitar players get in tune is to check themselves against someone who already is. Sometimes a little less accurate, but if done carefully this is pretty effective. Obviously the condition to make this work is that the other person needs to be in tune themselves.

I find that I get out of tune with my Christian walk most often when I try to do things on my own. When I want to have the best sermon containing nothing but ideas I've come up with, I tend to have very little material to pull from.

As luck would have it, the snow has caused a natural tuning pedal moment. We've been off for two days, and we're going to be off at least one more. Nothing to do, nothing to work on. It's time to stop playing and get myself in tune.

What do you guys do to get in tune?