strumming patterns

My son has been taking guitar lessons since September, and it's been so cool to watch him gain skills and learn to enjoy playing.  He's using my old guitar (from when I thought I might become a folk singer), and there have been times that I've opened his books and tried out different things he's working on.  It's been good for me because I have never had any guitar lessons, and while I could teach myself chords, there's a lot I've yet to learn!

The biggest revolution in my playing has been the strumming patterns.  I hadn't really given it much thought, but I knew that something wasn't quite right when I strummed along.  A strumming pattern can make all the difference!  who knew?  So as my son has (seemingly) endlessly practiced the pattern: down, down, UP, UP, down-up, clapping the rhythm, saying and strumming along, I've noticed that sequence pop into my conscious thoughts at random.

down, down, UP, UP, down-up, down, down, UP, UP, down-up....

Isn't life just like this strumming pattern?

As much as I try to will myself to be even-keeled, I often find myself going through emotions that reflect that pattern.

disappointment, hurt, SATISFIED, ENCOURAGED, frustrated-optomistic....
down, down, UP, UP, down-up....

I'm starting to realize that my feelings are not who I am.  Through the course of one day, I can feel everything from peace to complete turmoil, from happiness to the depths of despair - and back again.  I long for a steady life, one not at all dictated by what I feel.  A life grounded in Truth and in Christ.

While this strumming pattern makes guitar playing sound interesting, it makes life difficult and often painful.  It can bring about doubt - at least it can for me.  And so I pray, as I often have before:

"may your good spirit lead me on level ground."
psalm 143:10


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