For me, nothing beats watching a great player create beautiful music with an acoustic guitar. Artists like Phil Keaggy, Michael Hedges, and Tommy Emmanuel (just to name a few) make it look and sound so easy: for them it’s an effortless action, the music seemingly magically flowing out of a simple combination of skin, fingernails, steel, and wood.
But can you imagine what their acoustic guitars are going through?
One of the things I find amazing in the acoustic guitar is that its strings actually apply about 160 pounds of pressure on the structure. That means I who weigh 145 pounds can actually stand on the headstock of an unstrung guitar and the instrument would hold me up!
In fact, for a guitar to produce a sound it has to have that kind of pressure on it; if not for the pressure, a guitar would just be a bunch of wood, steel, and plastic.
And that’s kind of what life is all about, right? We all dream of living without pressure, without stress, without problems, but in reality these are the very things that allow us to be who we are. We are daily tested, and it is in how we respond to these tests that we see what stuff we’re made of. It is also in problems that we see how great God is. Jesus said:
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (Acts 14:22).
So if you feel like you can’t stand the pressure, look at your guitar. It’s constantly under pressure – and if it’s an old one it may even show in how it looks – but because of that pressure it’s able to make beautiful music.