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.
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.