What would happen if a world-class musician performed elegant classical music on a priceless instrument in a busy train station in an American city?
The Washington Postdid a little experiment to find out for themselves in their own city in January of 2007. The musician was Joshua Bell, who can earn upwards of $50,000 for an evening’s performance. The instrument was a three hundred year-old Stradivarius violin valued at $3.5 million. The music included the works of Bach and other masters.
The experiment was captured on hidden camera. How did people respond?
During Mr. Bell’s 45 minute performance, 1,097 people passed by. Twenty-seven people dropped spare change into his open violin case, for a total of $35. Seven of them stopped what they were doing to listen for at least one minute. The other 1,070 people hurried past, oblivious, uninterested, unmoved.
It made me wonder how I might have responded had I been among the busy people in that Metro station that day. I probably would have missed it too, and I suspect you might have as well. The sad reality is, we miss such moments of wonder and grace every day.
How many times do we encounter truth, beauty, and excellence, without giving it a second look? How many messages of hope do we ignore? How many demonstrations of grace do we disregard? How many divine appointments do we overlook? What are we missing, trying to make our next train?
What would happen if, as a habit, we started noticinga little more. I’ve had a good opportunity to do my own little experiment at Vacation Bible School this week. I’ve tried to look at all the little urchins running among us–ordinary kids who are loud, attention-challenged, and bouncing-off-the-walls–to see them as what God can do through them, in His extra-ordinary ways, not in how much trouble they can be. They have such potential as His “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” (Eph. 2:10) They are little maestros, instruments of praise in God’s hands, and how privileged we are to have the joy of spending the week seeing God work in their lives.
It’s amazing how much wide-eyed expectancy can change your perspective on things, and on people. May I suggest you give it a try as well. Open your eyes in the midst of your busy-ness and recognize those brief moments of grace and opportunities for wonder that God sends your way each day. There will be at least a few today. Will you see them?
I’m praying for you, and I can’t wait to see each of you this Sunday at Shelby Crossings as we gather together to experience His grace up close and personal.