Friday, December 01, 2006

Stolen Guitar

Last week before Thanksgiving holiday hit I put the final touches on the layout for the Advent Devotional book. We publish one every year with daily devotionals written by our members (adults, teens, and children). Some of the best ones come from unexpected places and it's a delight to read them. As the editor, I get to read them before anyone else does. I was working (in my head) on my contribution to the book when putting the date headings on each article. We had a great response to the requests this year, and therefore had enough articles without mine. My thoughts on Tuesday morning were to write for this article what I had been working on for the devotional book. Tuesday afternoon those thoughts changed. Here's why.

We had an overnight break-in at the church on Monday night. I heard about it on Tuesday morning, but was told that only a window was broken and that no one had gotten in. On Tuesday afternoon I looked for my guitar to begin some preparation for worship plans for the 8:30 service only to find it missing.

I had let one of our college students borrow the guitar on Monday for a recording project (he had left his guitar at school). When I couldn’t find it, I called him … hoping against hope that he still had it. True to form, he had conscientiously returned it to exactly where it had been when he picked it up earlier in the day. Snap! The police called Wednesday morning asking about him (just due diligence tracing every possible lead). I told them that under no circumstances was he to be considered a suspect.

I’ve had that guitar for around 25 years. While I have been eying its potential replacement for a couple of years now, I am in no way ready to get rid of that guitar. First (and biggest), I can’t really afford another guitar right now; and second, it has the best feeling neck of any guitar I’ve ever put my hands on. I bought it sight unseen in the spring of 1981 and spent the whole summer working to pay for it. While I would never buy another musical instrument without actually holding it in my hands and trying it out, I have never regretted the purchase.

That guitar has been a wonderful tool that has served me well throughout my ministry. But it is just a thing … a material possession. There are things far more valuable, and every time I lose something big (e.g. I’ve lost one car to theft and another to a drunk driver’s hit-and-run) I am reminded that God intends for us to hold our possessions, not the other way around. Do we mistreat them and undervalue them? No. They are gifts from God and to be cared for. Do we allow their loss to overwhelm us? Well, we try not to. I hope my guitar shows up … and soon.

I had a chat with a police officer friend while moving the keyboard to the town square for the tree-lighting on Thursday evening. He didn't raise my hopes much. He said that stolen goods like that, if they end up in a pawn shop do so through a network that quickly gets them out of the region in which the theft occurred.

In case anyone ever reads this blog and frequents pawn shops, the guitar in question is an Ovation Electric Legend (acoustic with pickup and preamp), Model 1617-4 (the "-4" indicates natural finish on the top and headstock), serial number 207638. I really don't care who took it; I just want it back. I use it every Sunday morning to do my job. I've borrowed a Takamine meanwhile, but it just isn't the same.

That’s enough to think about for now.


Blogger JATB said...

Morris, I'm so sorry. I remember that guitar. I know what the police told you, but I'm still praying and hoping you'll be able to be reunited with it. So sorry again.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Morris said...

Thanks, man. No word yet.

6:28 AM  

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