Over these past few weeks, my daughter has been listening to many of the songs that I listened to when I was her age. To my surprise and joy, she is enjoying many of these “oldies.” But I am particularly fond of the fact that one of her favorite groups is the Beatles. During a recent road trip, our family listened to the familiar songs, and a flood of memories returned to me. When I was her age, I listened to and read everything I could about the Beatles. I knew such obscure facts as the type of guitar that George Harrison played on a particular recording date, the number of takes that produced their first record, even the financial details for many of their famous recordings.
As our family listened in the car, I found myself smiling as I listened with a seasoned and more mature ear to the intricate guitar passages that George Harrison was playing and the arrangements of the songs. And then it struck me. So much of the way I now play guitar has been influenced by the Beatles. I exclaimed to my listening family, “Now I know where I got that lick!” Even my wife agreed, “Yes, that sounds like what you do on the guitar in several songs you play in church!” The influence was undeniable.
Like my music, in my Christian life, I have found many of my habits influenced by godly brothers and sisters whom I emulated in my younger years. I still make sure no book or object is ever placed on top of my Bible. When an ambulance passes by, I stop what I am doing and say a prayer for the health care workers and the patient they are attending. When I listen to a sermon from a new preacher, I see if he first prays before his sermon, humbling himself and asking God to speak through Him. I learned all of these actions by the godly influence of others and their actions have become an integral part of my life.
The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning He awakens; He awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.
Isaiah 50:4 (ESV)
God has blessed me with so many godly mentors. Like my guitar playing, the spiritual lessons I learned many years ago have permeated and become part of my persona. None of these individuals knew that someday I would be emulating them. But their influence continues and I intend to teach and instruct others so that they, too, may enter into a loving and saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.