I openly admit that I love Willie Nelson. He is iconic. Although Willie’s life personally stands for sustained, open rebellion, his artistry is vast and significant. His music is simple, typically a simple acoustic instrument: either a piano or an acoustic guitar, a few rhythm instruments (some drums and a bass), and a simple melody instrument (my favorite is the harmonica in Willie songs).
I particularly like watching Willie in concert. Willie has this archaic stage presence. He’s not quite as shaky as Ozzy, but he’s definitely become a little more frail through age. Willie’s band is an unfortunate gig, since Willie is the main attraction. He definitely steals the stage with his long hair and obnoxiously wide guitar straps. Willie steals the stage with his guitar as well.
Willies guitar is iconic too. Many of you know it when I mention it. His guitar is gaped with holes from wear and tear over the years. When Willie takes the stage, this guitar defines him a little more clearly, this guitar with worn holes and obvious defects. It’s amazing that such a great musician, with vast resources (even though the IRS obviously took quite a bit of those resources) would choose to be defined with an item that has such wear.
The other day I looked down at my guitar to notice that it too, has started to show some of the wear that Willie’s guitar has. I do not have holes in my guitar yet, but the years of use are definitely wearing on the guitar.
Life does that to us, doesn’t it? Over time, without notice or awareness, life just happens to us. We look down one day, and we notice that which was new and pristine has tarnished and is now used.
Sometimes the wear is because of abuse. My guitar has nicks and damage from times when I’ve abused it. Some of us have nicks and damage from abuse. Some of the abuse has been what other’s have done to us, but if we’re honest, most of it came from what we choose, when we abused ourselves.
Sometimes wear is natural. Some of the wear on my guitar, you can notice, is wear from use. Life by it’s very nature requires energy and investment to proceed. This investment will wear you down.
Some times when we step back and we see ourselves as we truly are, we realize that we’re playing life with Willie’s guitar. Some of us need rest, some need recovery. All of us need Jesus; because he makes all things new.