4 Lessons From an Unexpected Source

by | Oct 5, 2021 | Devotional | 8 comments

A few years ago, a Broadway musical about the founding fathers and the American Revolution became wildly popular. Hamilton won countless awards and created a massive following such that tickets soon began to cost hundreds of dollars. 

While I didn’t get the chance to watch the play performed live, I excitedly joined the Hamilton fan club when it was released on Disney Plus in 2020. I expected to be impressed by the incredible talent and brilliant songwriting, but I was not expecting rap songs about the United States’s first treasury secretary to teach me spiritual lessons.

As I listened to the soundtrack—and gave quite the performance alone in my car—I found four lessons that have been very applicable in my life. 

Take a Break

Alexander Hamilton was trying so hard to get his plan for a new form of government through Congress that he was working constantly and missing time with his family. When his family was going upstate for the summer, they begged him to join and take a break. His refusal is a great lesson for us. We must incorporate rest into our lives. 

This stillness can often be the time that God speaks to us the most. When we take a break, perhaps we do so by reading scripture or listening to uplifting music. Maybe we have dinner with a friend or call an elderly brother or sister instead of saying we don’t have time for these little things. We might even find that these breaks are more productive than crossing off items on a to-do list.

Be Satisfied

A common theme throughout the musical is that Hamilton will never be satisfied. The grass is always greener, and he is never content with his current lot. Philippians 4:11 says “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” 

We know that whatever is given to us will be used by God for good. We should not live always wanting the next best thing or saying “I’ll be happy when…” But we should be content and satisfied with where God has us for now.

Wait for It

This song is perhaps my favorite of the soundtrack. After being questioned about his unique approach to life, Aaron Burr sings about the importance of waiting for the greatness that is to come. Burr was the only one waiting for the plan to unfold but knew he needed to trust the process. He sings “I’m not falling behind or running late. I’m not standing still, I am lying in wait.” 

Often, we might feel that we are falling behind or running late compared to those around us. Social media can make it seem like everyone else has it all figured out and I am the only one still in this stage of life. But Burr reminds us that we are not running late. We are exactly on the timeline God has for us. We are not standing still. We are lying in wait, being used by God in our current season.

Be in the Room Where It Happens

After not being included in an important political decision regarding the location of the nation’s capital, Burr sings about how he wished he was in the room where it happened. From that experience, he decided to run for political office to ensure that he is always in the room where decisions are made. 

I want to have this same attitude with church. I want to be sure I am always in the room where it happens. I don’t want to miss blessings because I didn’t go to church that week. I don’t want to only hear about how God was present at a conference or campout, but I want to experience it myself. While I won’t be able to attend every church event, I want to be at as many as possible so I can be in the room where it happens and can experience God’s greatness in these moments firsthand. 

Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned from Hamilton is that God can speak to us anytime we are willing to listen, even through a musical about America’s independence. 

Have you ever had a similar experience when you learned something spiritual from something so seemingly random, such as a piece of art, a book, a play, or anything else?

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.

Author

  • Works as a 4th grade teacher in Lake Worth and loves to spend her free time soaking up the Florida sun, bike riding, and kayaking

8 Comments

  1. Lori Kimmel

    I will definitely listen to Hamilton songs differently now!! Thank you for a new wonderful way to look at how “History” will have its’ “eye” on us – spiritually speaking!!!!

    Reply
  2. Florence Perri

    Alyssa: I enjoyed reading your article this morning. It shows how we can apply natural situations into Spiritual. I know you are a great influence to the children you teach every day. We can always learn something from everyone. Thank you for your dedication to the Lord and your students. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Raja Wijegunaratne

    In Sri Lanka American revolution is the least known socio-political upheaval.. I am from Sri Lanka. Many categorize USA with colonial oppressors , unaware that USA fought against colonialism and won freedom. It has a great significance to be commonly identified with the Book of Mormon.That is God`s gift of unadultrated gospel to the mankind through an american farm boy, in contrast to the gospel brought by the missionaries who arrived the 3rd world countries sponsored by colonial oppressors. In fact American independance is closely related to restoration of pristine pure gospel.

    Reply
  4. Kim Komjathy

    Love this new perspective!

    Reply
  5. anonymous

    The Theatre has always been a place to see people’s moral and spiritual conflicts, even their inner struggles with right and wrong, played out on the stage. I can think of countless examples, and to name a few would leave out too many others. The music, costumes, scenery, acting and amazing lyrics beautifully sung have always had a way of etching the lessons portrayed deeply into my mind.

    Reply
  6. Christina DiCenzo

    Bless you Sister Allysa for your writing. I too love to look beyond the natural story line into how God is speaking spiritually!
    Now I really want to rent this play!
    😊

    Reply
  7. anonymous brother

    The following is a very interesting excerpt from section 8.2 of the Wikipedia article-essay on Alexander Hamilton:

    On his deathbed, Hamilton asked the Episcopal Bishop of New York, Benjamin Moore, to give him holy communion.[237] Moore initially declined to do so, on two grounds: that to participate in a duel was a mortal sin, and that Hamilton, although undoubtedly sincere in his faith, was not a member of the Episcopalian denomination.[238] After leaving, Moore was persuaded to return that afternoon by the urgent pleas of Hamilton’s friends, and upon receiving Hamilton’s solemn assurance that he repented for his part in the duel, Moore gave him communion.[238] Bishop Moore returned the next morning, stayed with Hamilton for several hours until his death, and conducted the funeral service at Trinity Church.[237]

    Reply

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