The ukulele as an instrument of virtue (see what I did there?)

I’m a horribly impatient person. I sigh loudly over lines at the ATM, my attention span for unpleasant homework is all of five minutes on a good day, I often song-surf through the music on my iPod rather than actually listening, you get the idea.

Something possessed me to ask for a ukulele for Christmas, despite the fact that I’d never touched one in my life (I’ve never even held a guitar for more than five minutes at a time), and a ukulele is exactly what I got — a purple soprano one. It’s nothing fancy, since it came at a beginner-friendly price, but it’s a perfectly fine instrument nonetheless.

For the first month and a half back at school, however, I barely touched the thing. It sat on my printer collecting dust after I got intimidated by the chord charts I found and my lack of natural talent as a ukulele-ist. That impatience problem I have grows exponentially when it comes to learning new things, so if I can’t pick something up quickly, I tend to abandon it.

Last week, however, I decided to give my little ukulele another chance. This time, instead of agonizing over the chord chart trying to figure out where to start, I tracked down both the chords and YouTube instructional videos for “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Since then, I’ve hardly been able to resist playing any time I’m in my room. I’m far from performance-ready, but I’ve slowly-but-surely progressed to the point of being able to make my way through the song with few mistakes or pauses. The initial frustration is giving way to genuine love. I’m so, so thankful for that, because it’s something new that I can enjoy that’s a much-needed, refreshing change from all the things that normally take up my time.

I really love that God can use something as simple as a 30-dollar ukulele to teach me patience in a way that’s not frustrating, but freeing.

The ukulele as an instrument of virtue (see what I did there?)

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