Between the grunts and groans while stretching during an exercise class, a friend and I began noticing the similarities between guitar strings and muscles. And of course, with me, God has a way of taking daily activities — like exercising — and teaching me a lesson through them.
Do you realize that muscles and strings have something in common? Their level of performance depends on how tight or loose they are. There’s a balance for being toned or tuned, respectively.
Each string on a guitar is to be a specific note. When a string is too tight, it’s not in tune. The pitch sounds too high so we say it is “sharp.” When the string is too loose, it’s not in tune either. The pitch is too low so it is called “flat.”
The term “sharp” sometimes is used to describe things as being harsh, cutting, abrupt, or brash. Many of us tend to get sharp when we’re stressed or upset; we tighten up or say sarcastic words. That’s why we use expressions like “uptight” or “edgy/on the edge.”
The word “flat” may be used to describe dull, lifeless, plain, or ‘off key’ things. For example, we tend to get flat when we’re uninterested or unconcerned about something; or how carbonated drinks loose their fizz if left out too long. In the case of a guitar string, if the instrument is not played often enough the strings go flat from disuse. Similarly, our muscles go flat if we don’t exercise them.
So what do we do when our muscles tighten up and we feel stiff? We stretch! This helps loosen them up. And when our muscles are flabby (another way to say flat!) what do we do? We exercise to tone them up!
And the God lesson in of all of this?
God wants us to be in tune — in perfect pitch and in harmony with Him— and in shape, toned up, ready for whatever He asks us to do. Not too tight, not too loose.
I picture myself as that string with His fingers on the guitar’s tuning pegs turning one way then the other little by little listening to the pitch, changing it ever so slightly until it’s perfect. Or lying prone on a floor mat in a gym, God in His trainer polo shirt stretching my legs a little, loosening me up. His workout routines can be a bit strenuous at times, making me exercise my faith like dumbbells when I’ve been a bit complacent or apathetic.
And so whether it’s tightening or loosening — stretching our faith or resting in His love — this process brings us closer to Him. I believe Father God wants to have a healthy and harmonious relationship with us — flowing in His love wherever we are.