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    Noticings…

    May 13, 2020

    I’ve got a bad case of GAS and I can’t seem to shake it. No, I’m not being gross. GAS is an acronym I learned in guitar playing circles. It stands for Gear Acquirement Syndrome. It’s a chronic condition that afflicts most guitar players wherein they are constantly distracted by the latest new thing that you can buy for your guitar addiction. It could be new guitars, even if you just bought a beautiful new one recently. More often it’s the latest amplifier, or accessory – but the granddaddy of them all are the new effects pedals. Those are those stomp boxes that guitar players have sprawled on the floor in front of them when they play. There are pedals for every type of sound you can imagine – reverb, delay, phase, flange, chorus, compression, overdrive, distortion, fuzz – and then there are the multi-effect pedals, and the drum machines, and the loopers. It’s so much fun! I could go on all day. And that’s the problem. It’s a never-ending stream of video after video of ludicrously fantastic players demonstrating how this pedal or that amp is going to make you sound so great. I want it all! I’ve got a bad case of GAS!

    The problem is the manufacturers keep forgetting to ship the fingers of those great players with the new gear! (Read the fine print: Fingers not included!) If I spent even a quarter of the time I spend watching those gear videos actually sitting with my guitar and practicing I might actually develop enough skill to get the most out of the ridiculous amount of gear I already have! (Don’t tell my wife I said that!) But it’s so tempting to fall into the GAS trap. “If I just buy this one more new thing then I’ll sound the way I sound in my imagination.” Of course it doesn’t work that way. I know that. Everyone knows that. And yet those videos have millions of views from GAS-afflicted fools just like me – and you?

    Don’t think because you may not be a guitar player that you aren’t susceptible to GAS. It applies to every pastime, or hobby, or craft, or passion a person can have. I live with someone who has discovered a passion for pottery. She now understands my GAS because she’s got it too!

    Does this apply to faith stuff? Are we always looking for a quick fix, or a new angle, or the next book, or even a new preacher who might give us the secret short cut to spiritual enlightenment instead of rolling up our sleeves and doing the long, hard, slow work of growing ever deeper through prayer and practice? Maybe. Maybe we have God Acquirement Syndrome? You don’t need any fancy gear or fancy training to sit in a quiet room, breathe deeply, and open yourself to resting in God’s Presence. It doesn’t mean all the other stuff isn’t helpful or even desirable – it is! But you can’t buy the fingers of a great musician. You have to develop them yourself. Slowly, steadfastly, persistently. And if you do it faithfully you’ll never run out of gas.


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    Larry
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